Pep Guardiola praised David Silva’s impact on his Manchester City side as he prepares to make his final appearance this weekend.
Silva will depart from Etihad Stadium after 10 years following City’s game against Norwich on Sunday.
Guardiola says the club will always be thankful to him as his ‘extraordinary’ career has helped City pick up 14 trophies.
When asked to summarise a veteran performer’s impact at City over the past decade, the Spanish head coach told the club’s official website: ‘Extraordinary.
‘The number of games, the huge quality in the games he played, the titles he helped win…he’s alongside five or six others who made this Club what it is now.
‘And this club will always be grateful.’
Silva joined City in 2010 having just been part of the Spanish World Cup-winning squad in South Africa.
Since then, he has won 14 major trophies including four Premier League titles, two FA Cups and four League Cups.
Team-mates nicknamed him Merlin because of his wizardry in midfield, having made 433 appearances, scored 77 goals and registered 140 assists during his time at City.
The 34-year-old decided not to extend his contract when it expires this summer as he is interested in undertaking a new challenge outside of the UK.
The Spaniard has been linked with a move to David Beckham’s Inter Miami club in America’s MLS. He has also been linked with moves to China and, more recently, Qatar.
Silva has, however, spoken of a desire to end his career at home in Gran Canaria with Las Palmas but admits that may now be difficult because the club were relegated from La Liga last year.
As for Manchester City, Silva has a ready-made successor for himself in England Under 21 star Phil Foden who will be given more playing time next season to fill the attacking void.