UCL Magazine - Di Maria, Zubimendi and Buruk interviewsSep 29
David Silva has announced his retirement from football with immediate effect at the age of 37.
The Manchester City and Spain legend, who won a glut of silverware during a 20-year career, revealed the news after suffering an ACL injury in pre-season with Real Sociedad, with only one more year left on his contract.
After posting a video on social media captioned simply "thank you very much football", Silva said: "Today is a sad day for me.
"Today it is time to say goodbye to what I have dedicated my whole life to.
"Today it is time to say goodbye to my colleagues, who are like family to me. I will miss you very much."
Going on to thank the fans of each of his respective former clubs, Silva rounds off the video by saying: "You made me feel at home."
Vincent Kompany, his captain at City during their emergence as a global force, posted in response to the announcement: "The Magician. Thank you for all those wonderful moments David. You were so special and it was an honour to share the pitch and the dressing room with you! Life isn't so bad after football - more good times to come!"
Kyle Walker, Edin Dzeko, Raheem Sterling, Leroy Sane and Riyad Mahrez were among others to pay tribute, while City said: "What an incredible career. Wishing you all the best for the future, El Mago!"
Silva broke into Valencia's B team in the 2003/04 season before successive year-long loan spells at second-tier Eibar and LaLiga side Celta Vigo.
Following his return to Valencia from that latter stint, Silva made a huge impression on the first team, making 51 appearances in all competitions that campaign.
He was similarly influential the following year, proving instrumental in guiding Los Che to the 2008 Copa del Rey final, where he provided two assists in a 3-1 victory over Getafe.
It was that same year that Silva won the first of three international trophies, with Spain sweeping their way to European Championship titles in 2008 and 2012 either side of a World Cup triumph in 2010; the most recent of those tournaments saw Silva finish as joint-top assist maker having opened the scoring in the final against Italy with an uncharacteristic header.
Meanwhile, Silva's move to City pushed his club career on significantly and he took to England like a duck to water, with his grace, fleet of foot and technical brilliance lighting up the Premier League as he glided to the top of the assists tree in the division in 2011/12, a campaign that included a majestic pass to supply Edin Dzeko for the sixth visiting goal in a memorable 6-1 mauling of Manchester United, which heralded a changing of the guard in the city.
Proving a key ingredient along with the irresistible Yaya Toure in securing the club's first-ever Premier League title the following season - having delivered the corner for Edin Dzeko's last-day equaliser against QPR - Silva would go on to win three more Premier Leagues, which came along with five EFL Cups, two FA Cups and two Community Shields.
The only notable trophy absent from his CV is the Champions League, and it is a crying shame that a hamstring injury halted his involvement in the 2016 semi-final against Real Madrid, with Manuel Pellegrini bemoaning the loss of his creator-in-chief.
It is mark of Silva's quality that the great Pep Guardiola - Pellegrini's successor - described Silva as "one of the best players I've trained", having admitted that he harboured doubts about whether the diminutive playmaker would thrive in England.
Silva's 10-stay at City ended in 2020 and plans were subsequently drawn up for a statue to be erected outside the Etihad - but it was certainly not the end of his career.
Heading to Real Sociedad, he won the Copa del Rey in his opening season and demonstrated that even though his body may have been slowing down, his mind definitely wasn't.
Earning himself another contract for the 2022/23 campaign, he proved pivotal in getting Imanol Alguacil's men into the Champions League, the first time in 10 years that La Real had achieved such a feat.
It is perhaps a mystery that he didn't earn more individual accolades - he was only named City's Player of the Season and Players' Player of the Season once apiece - but he has provided a lifetime of memories for fans around the world.