Fernandinho has revealed he believes David Silva to be the best player he played alongside during his nine-year stint at Manchester City.
The City captain spoke to City’s official website as he prepares to say goodbye to the club’s supporters, and was quizzed on a wide range of topics, including who he considers the most talented player he lined up with at the Etihad.
“It’s hard,” he admitted. “I said it before, but I always liked to play alongside David Silva because, for me, he was a really special player; clever, intelligent, he read the game so well and he set the tempo during the game.
“It was really special and nice to play alongside him. For me, he was one of the best players I have played with.”
Fernandinho is one of the few players in the current squad who predates Pep Guardiola’s arrival at the club.
While the midfielder had won a league title with City before the Catalan’s arrival in 2016, Fernandinho is on the verge of adding a sixth Premier League winner’s medal to his collection, something he’ll achieve with a win over Villa at the weekend.
Under Guardiola, Fernandinho has become one of the globe’s best holding midfielders, as well as becoming City captain, and the 37-year-old was asked about the impact the ex-Barcelona manager has had on his career.
“Since he came, the way City started to play under him was completely different,” said Fernandinho. “A different level. The first season we struggled a little bit, but the second season we were flying.
“New players came in and we changed everything. We discovered this hunger to win games and perform well to win trophies.
“This was the key when he changed it. Obviously with his philosophy, his ideas, and the way he can pass the message to the players to help us understand the way he wants us to play is much easier.
“It is so important because we listen to the meetings and then we go to practice on the pitch, and we try to apply it in the games as well.
“When you look back now, you can see that everything is perfect and was really good. That is why he is considered one of the best managers in the world. Definitely [he has taken my game to the next level]. When he came, I was 30 already so I had good managers in the past.
“But when I started to work with him, I just started to see football in a different way. I understood football much better, and he makes you see the game in another vision.
“It was amazing for me, and he definitely helped me increase my level and my understanding about football as well.”