London - Pep
Guardiola and Manchester City showed their human side in the
sympathetic manner with which they treated David Silva over the
premature birth of his son Mateo the Spanish star told The Daily Mirror.
Silva - who has become a City favourite for the role he has played
in eight years at the club in winning three Premier League titles, three
League Cups and an FA Cup - said those months of flying back and forth
between England and Spain to spend time with Mateo were the "toughest
of his life".
Mateo was born extremely premature in December last year and Silva missed four games over the busy festive period as a result.
"I have always been well treated by the club, but when Mateo was born
prematurely I think it was the time when I realised just how much the
club means to me," said Silva.
"It was Christmas. It was the busiest part of the season and I knew Pep needed me to play.
"Yet Pep just said to me 'look, there is nothing more important than
your family. Take all the time you need to look after your son, your
family and also yourself'.
"In the worst moment of my life, Pep and the people at City showed me
the kind of love that you can only appreciate when you have been in
that kind of crisis."
The 32-year-old forward, capped over 100 times and a member of two
Euro winning sides in 2008 and 2012 and the 2010 Soccer World Cup winning team, said
it was draining watching his son battling to stay alive.
"You just don't expect to see your baby fighting for his life," said Silva.
"Looking back you wonder how you coped. I relied on the strength of
my girlfriend and my family - and also my team-mates and my club.
"Mateo was also a source of inspiration because of the way he fought.
"I was flying from England to Spain, trying to be with my son, trying to train, going back to Manchester to play for City.
"It goes without saying that the first few months after my son was born were the toughest of my life."
Silva, who says he will see out the remaining two years of his
contract and then look to play elsewhere but not in England partly due
to "the rain", says his son is improving but it is too early to say if
there is any long term damage.
"It is too early to say all is well with Mateo, but the good news is that my son is getting stronger and stronger," said Silva.
"He has to continue with medical tests every now and then, but at least we can think a little about the future."