Real Sociedad's new signing David Silva has tested positive for COVID-19.

The 34-year-old, who joined the LaLiga side this month after leaving Manchester City, is asymptomatic and has already begun a period of self-isolation. 

News the midfielder has contracted coronavirus came just hours after he was presented to the media at Sociedad's Reale Arena on Monday.

The club tweeted: "Sociedad informs that @21LVA has tested positive for COVID-19 in the test carried out at Policlínica Gipuzkoa.

"The player is asymptomatic and is self-isolating."

Sociedad's LaLiga campaign kicks off with a trip to Real Valladolid on September 13.

David Silva has been "left surprised" by Lazio sporting director Igli Tare's outburst after finalising a move to Real Sociedad, according to the midfielder's father Fernando Jimenez.

The 34-year-old looked certain to join Lazio on a free transfer following this week's exit from Manchester City, only to sign a two-year deal with LaLiga club Sociedad on Monday.

The move provoked an angry response from Tare on the club's official website, with media reports claiming a medical had been arranged with Lazio and a deal all but agreed. 

"I learn about David Silva's transfer to Real Sociedad. I have great respect for the player, but not for the man," Tare said on Tuesday.

However, Silva's father has insisted an agreement was never in place and has hit back at the Biancocelesti chief.

"There were conversations with Lazio, just like there were with Real Sociedad or other teams," he told Radio Marca. "There was nothing finalised. 

"David has been left surprised by their reaction. People can say what they like, but Lazio spoke with his agent and not with David. So, I don't understand [the personal attacks]."

Silva's 10-year stay at City ended with Saturday's surprise Champions League quarter-final defeat to Lyon.

The former Spain international has previously played for Valencia, Eibar and Celta Vigo in his home country.

Lazio sporting director Igli Tare has taken the extraordinary step of issuing a brief statement just to announce he has no respect for David Silva "the man" after he joined Real Sociedad instead of the Italians.

Silva, 34, officially left Manchester City on Monday after 10 years at the club, a period that marked him out as arguably their greatest player.

The playmaker had confirmed last year that he planned to depart in 2020 at the end of his contract, though there had generally been little speculation as to where he might end up next.

That was until the past few weeks, however, as Lazio looked certain to be Silva's new home, with media reports claiming everything was agreed and a medical had been scheduled.

But La Real caused something of a shock on Monday when, just a few hours after City announced plans to immortalise Silva with a statue, the Basque club confirmed the former Spain international was their new player.

The news was said to have infuriated and stunned Lazio, and Tare's decision to release a brief – albeit withering – statement seemed to confirm the club's position.

Accompanied by no other comment from the wider institution, Tare's analysis of the situation was posted to Lazio's website on Tuesday, the director saying: "I learn about David Silva's transfer to Real Sociedad. I have great respect for the player, but not for the man."

Silva signed a two-year deal with La Real, with whom he shall feature in LaLiga for the first time since leaving Valencia in 2010.

They will be Silva's second Basque club, having spent a season on loan at Eibar at the start of his career.

David Silva has moved back to LaLiga following his departure from Manchester City, signing for Real Sociedad on a free transfer.

With his 10-year stay at City coming to an end with the Champions League defeat to Lyon on Saturday, Silva appeared set to join Serie A side Lazio.

However, it is Sociedad who have secured his signature, with Silva - who left Valencia in 2010 to continue his career in England - opting to return to his homeland. 

The 34-year-old, who won four Premier League titles, the EFL Cup fives times and the FA Cup twice during his time with City, has agreed terms on a two-year deal with the Basque club. 

Sociedad, who have handed Silva the number 21 shirt, finished sixth in LaLiga in the 2019-20 campaign, though they won just two of their 11 fixtures following the restart.

They progressed to the Copa del Rey final in March, though the match has been indefinitely suspended at the request of both Sociedad and their Basque rivals Athletic Bilbao, neither club wishing to play until it is safe for fans to attend following the coronavirus pandemic. 

On Monday, City revealed they have commissioned a statue of Silva which will eventually be located at the Etihad Stadium.

Silva will also have a bespoke mosaic dedicated to him at the City Football Academy, reflecting his contribution to the 6-1 defeat of Manchester United in 2011.

In a post on his official Twitter account, he wrote: "The time has arrived. Ten years and 13 titles later, it's time for me to say goodbye to the club that has left an incredible mark on my life and career.

"City and I have grown together. In 10 years, I have developed personally and professionally. I have celebrated many victories and titles and lived through epic moments.

"It has been a real pleasure wearing the sky blue shirt and the captain's armband of our club, sharing the dressing room with the best players and coaches in the world, and working closely with the finest club representatives and board members the game has to offer.

"I hope that City will achieve even bigger triumphs in the future. I am going to support the team from a distance. I am so happy to have shared these unforgettable moments with the City family."

Silva made 27 Premier League appearances in 2019-20, scoring six goals and providing 10 assists.

Kai Havertz is reportedly still pushing for a move to Chelsea, while Manchester United are considering their options.

Havertz has been heavily linked with a move to Chelsea after an impressive season with Bayer Leverkusen.

The attacker may be getting closer to a switch to Stamford Bridge.

 

TOP STORY – HAVERTZ STILL PUSHING FOR CHELSEA MOVE

Havertz is still pushing for a move to Chelsea from Leverkusen, according to Fabrizio Romano.

The Germany international would join Timo Werner and Hakim Ziyech in heading to Chelsea ahead of 2020-21.

Havertz scored 18 goals and provided nine assists in 45 games for Leverkusen this season.

 

ROUND-UP

- With Jadon Sancho potentially staying at Borussia Dortmund, Manchester United could look elsewhere. Sport reports United are insisting on Barcelona's teenage forward Ansu Fati and are willing to pay more than £90million (€100m). Meanwhile, ESPN reports United are looking at another Barcelona attacker in Ousmane Dembele.

- Real Madrid are considering their options ahead of next season. AS reports the LaLiga champions will bring back Martin Odegaard, who has been on loan at Real Sociedad, and Dani Ceballos, the latter having spent time on loan at Arsenal.

- Chelsea are linked with numerous moves ahead of 2020-21. However, The Guardian reports they are yet to make a bid for West Ham star Declan Rice.

- After a fine career at Manchester City, David Silva is leaving the Premier League giants. The Guardian reports Silva, 34, will join Lazio on a three-year deal.

- Quincy Promes has caught the eye at Ajax. The Sun reports Arsenal are eyeing a £25m (€27.8m) move for the forward, who netted 16 times in 28 games in 2019-20.

- Mario Gotze is set to have plenty of interest after leaving Borussia Dortmund. However, Sport Bild reports the 28-year-old has rejected a move to MLS side Inter Miami.

New Manchester City signing Ferran Torres was inspired by David Silva when he started out at Valencia.

Torres last week moved to City for an initial £21.1million, arriving as a replacement for Leroy Sane following his move to Bayern Munich.

The Spain Under-21 winger joined Los Che as a seven-year-old, when Silva was part of a strong Valencia side regularly featuring in European competition.

Silva left Mestalla for City in 2010 but had already made a mark on Torres.

"When I started at Valencia, he was enjoying his best time at the club," Torres told CityTV of Silva, City's outgoing captain.

"He was always an inspiration and then, when he moved to City, where he's been playing his best football, I've always admired him.

"Above all, [what I liked was] his ability to hold the ball, his capacity to make the final pass and his quality."

Asked what motivated him to join City, Torres highlighted the importance of manager Pep Guardiola in his decision.

He said: "Being part of the project the club set out to me. My aim is to grow as a player. I have a lot of room for improvement and the fact of having Pep Guardiola as a manager was a big factor too.

"It was crucial because he's one of the best, or I'd say the best manager in the world, and at the point I am at now in my career, he can get the best out of me.

"I'm always trying to improve. I always like to ask the reason why we do things and I think this is fundamental for improving and also because I think I'm young and I still have lots of things to improve."

Torres is confident he can quickly adapt to the Premier League after firmly establishing himself in the first team at Valencia in 2019-20.

"The truth is that English football is a bit more physical than it is in Spain, but I really feel I'm ready and I'm looking forward to getting going as soon as possible," he said.

"I'd say that I have more strength than speed. I also make good crosses, but above all I'd highlight my power and strength."

Arsenal star Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's future has dominated headlines.

With Aubameyang due to become a free agent in 2021, Arsenal have been desperate to re-sign the Gabon international.

Now, it looks like the 31-year-old will remain at Emirates Stadium for an extended period.

 

TOP STORY – AUBAMEYANG TO SIGN NEW DEAL

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is close to signing a new three-year contract with Arsenal, according to The Telegraph.

Aubameyang's current deal is due to expire next year and the Arsenal star has been linked to LaLiga giants Barcelona, as well as Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain and Inter.

But Aubameyang is set to sign a deal that will run until 2023, a two-year extension.

 

ROUND-UP

- Journalist Fabrizio Romano claims it is only a matter of time before Willian signs a contract with Arsenal until 2023. Chelsea midfielder Willian is free to talk to clubs as his deal at Stamford Bridge expires. The Gunners are also eyeing Thomas Partey but Atletico Madrid insist the midfielder will not leave unless his £45million (€50m) release clause is paid.

Paul Pogba is happy at Manchester United and is ready to sign a new contract, reports Romano. Pogba has been previously linked to former club Juventus and LaLiga champions Real Madrid.

- Staying at Old Trafford, and The Guardian claims United will listen to offers for Jesse Lingard as they try to prise Jadon Sancho from Borussia Dortmund. United and Dortmund are still negotiating a transfer for Sancho, according to widespread reports.

Edinson Cavani could be poised to join Brazilian outfit Atletico Mineiro, reports Globo Esporte. The 33-year-old Uruguay international is a free agent after leaving PSG. Cavani has been linked to Portuguese giants Benfica, newly promoted Premier League team Leeds United, MLS outfit Inter Miami, Atletico and Inter.

Everton are interested in signing Atletico's Thomas Lemar, says Le10Sport. Carlo Ancelotti's Everton are also hoping to bring United full-back Diego Dalot to Goodison Park, reports The Mirror.

- According to The Athletic, Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg is set to join Tottenham from Southampton. Spurs will pay £19m for the former Bayern Munich midfielder.

Liverpool will have to pay close to £20m for Norwich City left-back Jamal Lewis after the Premier League champions had a £10m offer rejected, says The Guardian.

David Silva looks set to move to Lazio. According to Sky Sport Italia, the Manchester City midfielder – a free agent – will swap the Premier League for Serie A following the club's Champions League campaign.

Lazio sporting director Igli Tare has refused to discount the prospect of signing David Silva on a free transfer.

Silva will leave Manchester City after the Champions League concludes, having spent a hugely successful 10 years at the Etihad Stadium.

There has been growing speculation the 34-year-old could move to Simone Inzaghi's side, who have secured a return to the Champions League for the first time since 2007-08.

Tare claims to have mutual friends of the midfielder but appeared keen to make it clear that any prospective deal is some way off.

"He's a great player, but I don't know where certain stories come from," Tare told Sky Sport Italia prior to Lazio's 2-0 Serie A win over Brescia on Wednesday.

"I've heard from mutual friends that he would like to have a different experience to England, but as is often said, there's a big difference between saying something and doing something."

The victory over Brescia, Lazio's third in a row after going five games without a win in the top flight, was secured through Joaquin Correa and Ciro Immobile.

Immobile has scored 35 goals in 36 league games this season and is on track to finish as Serie A top scorer and win the European Golden Shoe.

Tare wants the 30-year-old to be the focal point of Lazio's growth in the coming years.

"Without a doubt, the Lazio of the future will be built around him," Tare said. "He has a long contract, he's an important figure for this club, this team.

"The party his team-mates had in the dressing room after the match against Verona shows everything that's been built around him.

"He's had an incredible season but so have the whole team, who have always supported him.

"We need to exploit the Immobile brand and the Lazio brand. We're back in the Champions League after 13 years. We need to create a strategy, which we've already started with several initiatives, to lift these brands higher."

Jadon Sancho has long been linked with a move to Manchester United.

The former Manchester City youngster is reportedly ready to return to his native England after starring in the Bundesliga for Borussia Dortmund.

With United's Champions League status confirmed, the Red Devils are ready to strike a deal.

 

TOP STORY – UNITED STEPPING UP SANCHO PURSUIT

Manchester United are prioritising the signing of Borussia Dortmund star Jadon Sancho as they cool on Aston Villa captain Jack Grealish, according to Sky Sports.

United are determined to bring Sancho to Old Trafford after securing Champions League qualification, though both clubs are yet to come to agreement on a transfer fee – Dortmund are reportedly holding out for €120m (£109m).

England international Sancho has previously been linked to Real Madrid, Barcelona, Liverpool and Chelsea.

It now looks unlikely that United will pursue Villa star Grealish, who is valued in excess of £80m by the Premier League side, with doubts over where he would fit into Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side.

 

ROUND-UP

- Leicester City full-back Ben Chilwell will demand he wants to leave the club in order to force a move to Chelsea, reports The Mirror. Chilwell has also been linked to Manchester City and Manchester United.

Everton want to sign Lazio star Ciro Immobile, says 90min. Immobile has scored a Serie A-high 34 goals for Lazio this season.

- According to Diario AS, Lazio are in talks to sign Manchester City great David Silva. The Spanish star is set to become a free agent following the Champions League campaign.

- Calciomercato claims Tottenham are eyeing Inter outcast Ivan Perisic. The Croatia international, who was linked to United during Jose Mourinho's time in Manchester, spent the 2019-20 season on loan at Bayern Munich.

Milan are interested in signing Fiorentina centre-back Nikola Milenkovic, reports Gazzetta dello Sport. The 22-year-old has also been linked to the likes of Napoli and United.

- Edinson Cavani has emerged as a possible understudy for Bayern star Robert Lewandowski, says Le10Sport. Cavani is a free agent since leaving Paris Saint-Germain and has been linked to Portuguese giants Benfica.

- According to Cadena Cope, Barcelona have contacted Villarreal to discuss defender Pau Torres, who has a €50m release clause.

- Qatari side Al Gharafa are interested in Monaco midfielder Cesc Fabregas, claims France Football.

David Silva played his 309th and final Premier League match on Sunday, helping Manchester City end the season with a rout of Norwich City. 

While he did not get on the scoresheet, the 5-0 thrashing was still a fitting farewell for a player who must be considered one of the best to ever to play for the club. 

His future remains unclear, but the 34-year-old's legacy in English football is safe: four league titles, two FA Cups, five EFL Cups and, just maybe, a Champions League triumph next month. 

Opta provides a clear insight into the brilliance of Silva over the past 10 years...

BORN TO PLAY - AND WIN

Silva reached 200 Premier League wins in just 289 appearances, faster than any other player in the competition's history. Indeed, City won 69.2 per cent of all league games when 'El Mago' was on the pitch - 214 in total.

City's very own Mr Reliable has only made fewer league appearances since his debut than two goalkeepers, David de Gea (312) and Ben Foster (322), while only Kyle Walker has played more Premier League minutes in that time.

Of course, Silva has never just been making up the numbers in City blue. He managed 93 assists, at least 17 more than any other player since his debut in 2010.

Unsurprisingly, his 793 chances created is also far clear of his closest rivals - Eden Hazard is next on 595.

Overall, he has provided 153 goals and assists combined, the fourth-highest since he came to English shores, behind just Wayne Rooney (155), Harry Kane (163) and Sergio Aguero (226).

AN ALL-TIME GREAT

Silva is in esteemed company in Premier League history. He is sixth on the all-time assist table, one ahead of Steven Gerrard and behind only Dennis Bergkamp (94), Frank Lampard (102), Rooney (103), Cesc Fabregas (111) and Ryan Giggs (162).

For City, he is unsurprisingly top of almost every chart.

He has played more games, won more games and provided more assists than any other City player in the Premier League, while behind only Aguero for goals and assists combined. While hardly prolific, only Yaya Toure (62), Raheem Sterling (67) and Aguero (180) can better his tally of 60 goals.

 

EL REY

Only De Gea and Fabregas (350) have played more Premier League games than Silva when it comes to Spanish players, and none have won as many matches or can compare to his win rate.

Fernando Torres (85) is the only Spaniard with more goals, while just Fabregas is above Silva for assists and combined goal involvements (161).

 

CONSISTENCY KING

Silva's best season for goals and assists was in 2011-12 - City's first title triumph - when he registered 21. He has managed at least 11 goal involvements in each of his league campaigns in England.

The midfielder created more than 60 goalscoring chances in every season except 2019-20 and twice surpassed a century, reaching 104 in 2011-12 and then 105 the following term.

He completed 18,794 passes in the Premier League with an accuracy that averaged more than 87 per cent.

David Silva's legacy at Manchester City will be to have changed the club, according to director of football Txiki Begiristain.

Veteran playmaker Silva is set to leave City at the end of this season, following a decorated 10-year stint that has yielded four Premier League titles, five EFL Cups and two FA Cups – the first of which in 2011 ended a 35-year trophy drought.

He offered a reminder of his enduring qualities with a masterful display in Wednesday's 5-0 routing of Newcastle United.

Silva supplied his 120th and 121st assists in City colours by setting up Gabriel Jesus and Raheem Sterling, while he also dispatched a 65th-minute free-kick – the 76th goal of his time in England.

Begiristain feels Silva holds a special place in City history, along with club record goalscorer Sergio Aguero and the recently departed Yaya Toure and Vincent Kompany.

"He's been unbelievable in football in the world - especially here," he told the club's official website. "He's spent 10 wonderful years, winning trophies and changing the dynamic of the club.

"He's been one of the leaders – with Vincent, with Yaya and Kun [Aguero]. No one will forget what they've done for this football club.

"Not only the way David plays football but helping us be a successful club.

"David is always going to be remembered because of that."

Brazil forward Jesus opened the scoring with his 11th Premier League goal of the season – ending a nine-match drought that stretched back to February's 2-1 Champions League win at Real Madrid.

Echoing the sentiments of Pep Guardiola, Begiristain praised Jesus' selfless work for the team during a period of personal toil.

"His work rate, he's unbelievable," he said. "He helps a lot by creating space for the midfielders.

"He's the number nine and he likes to score and [against Newcastle] he could. We are always happy with the work rate."

Cristiano Ronaldo has been linked with a stunning return to Real Madrid, but it seems that is just about impossible.

The Juventus star only left the Santiago Bernabeu in 2018, yet recent reports linked him with a Madrid return.

However, it appears that is unlikely.

 

TOP STORY – REAL MADRID RETURN FOR RONALDO RULED OUT

Real Madrid are not thinking about bringing Ronaldo back, according to both Marca and Sport.

It has been reported that Juve would consider selling Ronaldo for €60million, which is €40m less than what they paid in July 2018.

Ronaldo had scored 25 goals in 32 games this season before it was suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic.

ROUND-UP

- Neymar continues to be linked with a return to Barcelona. Sport reports Paris Saint-Germain would be willing to accept payment in instalments from Barcelona, something that proved to be an issue last close season.

- Paul Pogba looks set to leave Manchester United for either Juventus or Real Madrid. AS reports the France midfielder will prioritise an offer from the LaLiga giants.

- On loan at PSG from Inter, Mauro Icardi's future is uncertain. Sport reports PSG have decided they will use their purchase option of €70m to land the forward permanently.

- It seems Barcelona know what they want for Philippe Coutinho. The LaLiga giants have set their price for the attacker, who is on loan at Bayern Munich, at €90m, according to Sport.

- David Silva will leave Manchester City at the end of the season and where he ends up remains to be seen. CalcioMercato reports AC Milan met the playmaker's agents over a possible move.

- It is shaping as a busy close season at Barcelona. Sport reports PSG left-back Layvin Kurzawa, out of contract at campaign's end, wants a move to Barcelona. Meanwhile, AS reports Barca are also eyeing Real Madrid's 19-year-old midfielder Cesar Gelabert.

Daniel Levy is known as a difficult negotiator.

The Tottenham chairman squeezed every penny out of United when the Red Devils turned to Dimitar Berbatov in 2008.

United also reportedly pulled out of the running for Luka Modric, who joined Real Madrid in 2012, as they did not want to haggle with Levy.

However, United could be ready to lock horns with Levy over Harry Kane's signature.

 

TOP STORY – WOODWARD READY TO BATTLE LEVY FOR KANE

Manchester United and Ed Woodward are ready to battle for the signing of Tottenham star Harry Kane, according to the Evening Standard.

Kane is reportedly considering his future at Tottenham and the England international striker is believed to be open to a switch to United at the end of the season.

United are yet to permanently replace Romelu Lukaku and Red Devils executive vice-chairman Woodward reportedly wants to lock horns with Spurs chairman Daniel Levy.

 

ROUND-UP

- Could United beat Borussia Dortmund to Jude Bellingham? Birmingham City's 16-year-old sensation Bellingham visited United's training ground on Monday and reportedly spoke to former manager Alex Ferguson as the Red Devils ramp up their interest. Bellingham is valued at around £30million.

- David Beckham's Inter Miami want to sign Manchester City star David Silva, reports The Mirror. Silva, out of contract at the end of the season, has been linked to fellow MLS franchise New York City – who are the sister club of Manchester City and part of the City Football Group.

- Tuttosport claims Juventus are targeting Valencia attacker Ferran Torres. The 20-year-old has also been linked to LaLiga champions Barcelona, Real Madrid and Premier League leaders Liverpool.

United are prepared to pay £70m for Aston Villa captain Jack Grealish, says The Mirror. Grealish has emerged as one of United's prime transfer targets and the Red Devils are ready to test Villa's resolve as the Premier League strugglers face relegation.

Paris Saint-Germain continue to target Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly. PSG have identified Koulibaly as Thiago Silva's replacement but Calciomercato says it will be difficult for the Ligue 1 holders to lower Napoli's demands. Koulibaly – also linked to the likes of United, Madrid, Tottenham and Manchester City – reportedly has a €150m termination clause.

- Kicker says Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich are considering signing on-loan Inter winger Ivan Perisic at season's end.

The 19-year-old man of the match strolled through the Wembley mixed zone on Sunday evening wearing a beaming grin along with his winners' medal, only to receive one more instruction from his manager.

"Phil, you must!" said Pep Guardiola, gesturing towards the gaggle of waiting journalists, eagerly wanting a piece of Phil Foden.

But no sooner had he headed towards the microphones, the midfielder was told in no uncertain terms it was time to go right now as the team bus was ready to leave.

It meant Manchester City's coach driver had done something largely beyond Aston Villa for the duration of Sunday's EFL Cup final by stopping Foden from doing whatever he wanted. 

City continued their recent dominance of the competition with a third successive triumph thanks to first-half goals from Sergio Aguero and Rodri, before Mbwana Samatta pulled one back in the 41st minute for a valiant Villa.

It proved a day to savour for City's old guard. Aguero, Fernandinho and David Silva now have five winners' medals apiece from English football's mid-season final.

Club record goalscorer Aguero settled nerves after a scrappy start with a typically astute piece of poaching. Ever the man for the big occasion, the Argentina star has been directly involved in eight goals across 10 Wembley appearances, while Villa will be sick of the sight of a man boasting 10 strikes in his past six outings against them.

Within the context of Aymeric Laporte's injury struggles this season, Fernandinho has shifted seamlessly from defensive midfield lynchpin to become City's most reliable option at centre-back.

The 35-year-old typically provides an expert combination of aggression and poise while his rotating cast of partners cough up goal-causing mistakes.

Fernandinho's probing, purposeful passing from deep to get Guardiola's men back on the front foot early in the second half after John Stones' forlorn grapple with gravity in the build up to Samatta's powerful header ensured both sides of that equation were clearly evident at the national stadium.

Aguero and Fernandinho are under contract for 2021-22 but the current campaign amounts to a victory lap for the mercurial Silva, who will end a glorious decade in Manchester over the next three months.

Guardiola has frequently stated his plan for the club captain to symbolically pass the torch to Foden, who has waited diligently in the wings since his 2017 debut as the understudy to City's twinkling left-footed magician.

The realities of elite sport and the passage of time mean succession planning is rarely completely smooth, however, and the match against Villa often felt like Foden ripping the baton from his mentor's hand and tearing off on a journey mapped out in boyhood dreams.

Across 90 minutes in which Villa's refusal to go quietly was the main factor in City lacking the relentless rhythm that defines their best work, Foden was their most reliable outlet.

No-one else in their Hacienda-inspired black shirts led the dance as the teenager did, unquestionably the player most in tune with Guardiola's "take the ball, pass the ball" mantra when in opposition territory.

Foden completed 90 per cent of his 41 passes in the Villa half, set against 87.5 per cent of 32 from Silva, who he also outstripped in overall touches (71 to 57) and tenacity – (7/10 duels won to 3/8).

All the unmistakable Silva visuals remain – gliding into pockets of space in front of defenders and receiving the ball with eloquent mischief, all while shuffling easily as if in his favourite pair of carpet slippers.

And yet, each refined movement feels the tiniest split-second slower. Opponents can now generally close out those shafts of light where the 34-year-old used to thread his most delightful passes.

Foden became the player most familiar with the whites of Aston Villa eyes, daring them not to blink. One particularly velvety touch on the end of Oleksandr Zinchenko's raking 29th-minute pass almost brought a goal to savour.

Guardiola talked up the youngster's goal threat afterwards and no City player could match his five attempts on the day. Although not noted for his aerial ability, Foden's 20th-minute knockdown for Aguero means he now has seven assists to go with a pair of goals in 10 competitive starts in 2019-20.

Even without those impressive numbers, the evidence presented to 82,149 spectators was enough. On a gala day for City's most influential players of the past 10 years, Foden made a statement of intent for the decade to come.

Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have dominated the 2010s in terms of individual awards and moments of pure inspiration.

Future generations will look back on this past decade as a period obsessed with the two generational talents - their often-exaggerated rivalry exacerbated by spending such a long time on opposite sides of the Clasico divide.

But, while Ronaldo and Messi have filled more column inches than any other player on the planet, there are plenty of others who have been world leaders in their respective positions.

Having looked back over the last 10 years, using Opta data for inspiration, we have selected a Team of the Decade. But who makes the cut?

Is David de Gea selected in goal? Does Luis Suarez join Messi in attack? Has Virgil van Dijk done enough for inclusion? Find out below...

OMNISPORT TEAM OF THE DECADE

Manuel Neuer

There is not much more Manuel Neuer could have achieved over the past 10 years. For much of that time he has been one of the globe's most dependable goalkeepers, even if he has shown signs of decline since a spate of foot injuries. A veteran of seven Bundesliga title triumphs and a World Cup winner with Germany, Neuer boasts a save percentage of 74.2 per cent and has comfortably the most clean sheets (139) this decade in the German top flight.

Dani Alves

Has there ever been a better right-back than Dani Alves? The Brazilian stands to leave an impressive legacy, not just through his thrilling style of play, but with his record-breaking trophy haul of 43 after captaining Brazil to Copa America success this year. Despite being a right-back, he claimed 67 assists in league action through the 2010s, though his greatest contribution came in LaLiga with Barcelona, for whom he set up 51 goals. Marcelo (48) is the closest to him, but he has played 77 times more than the current Sao Paulo star.

Vincent Kompany

Although a brilliant player at his best, it is understandable to suggest Vincent Kompany never reached his ceiling due to injuries. Nevertheless, the Belgian will go down as a Premier League great such has been his impact with Manchester City, with whom he enjoyed four title wins. Kompany recorded 83 Premier League clean sheets in the 2010s, just 10 fewer than record-setter Kyle Walker, who has played 57 more matches. His leadership qualities have been missed by City this season.

Sergio Ramos

Sergio Ramos is a player who often polarises opinion, but he's one of only three players to have been at Madrid for the entire decade, so he must be doing something right. An undisputed leader and fierce competitor, Ramos is a big-game player like few others and boasts a goal-scoring record even many midfielders would be happy with, having netted 43 times in LaLiga since the start of 2010, more than any other defender. Over the past 10 years, he's helped Los Blancos to a remarkable four Champions League titles, while he won the 2010 World Cup and Euro 2012 with Spain.

Jordi Alba

At his best, Jordi Alba was almost unstoppable. The flying left-back became a staple and key outlet for one of the great Barcelona teams, with his driving runs – on or off the ball – often creating havoc. A master at making a darting run into the box before cutting a pass back to create a chance, Alba has 38 LaLiga assists to his name for Barca, a record bettered by only Dani Alves and Marcelo among defenders. He gets the nod ahead of his Madrid counterpart as his assist haul is from 72 fewer matches.

Luka Modric

The only player to break the Cristiano Ronaldo-Lionel Messi Ballon d'Or duopoly, Luka Modric has enjoyed a wonderful decade. A vital part of the Croatia team that enjoyed an historic run to the 2018 World Cup final, Modric also played a big role in Madrid's incredible Champions League domination. Toni Kroos (11,260) is the only midfielder to have completed more passes in LaLiga than Modric (10,759), while he laid on 42 assists and created 522 chances.

N'Golo Kante

If there was an award for the most likeable player of the decade, N'Golo Kante would surely be a frontrunner. Sadly there is no such thing, so he'll have to contend with inclusion in this team. Arguably the key cog in Leicester City's remarkable Premier League title win, Kante followed that up with similarly impressive form at Chelsea and with France, winning the World Cup with Les Bleus last year. He has made 912 tackles and interceptions in the Premier League, putting him fifth among players with 200 appearances or fewer this decade, and each of those who rank higher have played at least 20 matches more.

David Silva

When David Silva leaves Man City at the end of the season, there will inevitably be a debate as to whether he can be regarded the Premier League's greatest 'import'. That this will even be suggested tells you the impact he has had. No one gets close to Silva's record of 89 Premier League assists in the 2010s, with the Spaniard almost certainly the most consistent creator the division has seen in the past 10 years. He was similarly important for Spain until his post-World Cup retirement last year, having previously lifted the trophy in South Africa in 2010 and at Euro 2012, eventually accumulating 125 caps.

Lionel Messi

Where does one even begin with Lionel Messi? If any single player has defined the 2010s – from an individual perspective – in world football, it is surely the Barcelona talisman. In LaLiga, Messi has amassed 505 goal involvements (369 goals, 136 assist) in 343 matches since the start of the decade, routinely carrying Barca to victory. He has won every trophy possible with the Blaugrana over the past 10 years and claimed five Ballons d'Or, with his 2019 victory giving him a record-breaking sixth. Although now 32, he remains frighteningly decisive – all that eludes him is international success with Argentina.

Robert Lewandowski

A long list of immense strikers have starred throughout the 2010s, but arguably chief among them – Ronaldo aside – is Bayern Munich's Robert Lewandowski. Having moved from Borussia Dortmund, whom he helped turn into Champions League contenders, the Poland international has developed into a remarkable all-round striker. In 307 Bundesliga games he has 221 goals from 1,163 attempts, meaning he scores every 5.2 shots – by contrast, Ronaldo needs 6.4 efforts per goal. Although he is yet to win Europe's elite club competition, there is little doubt the Pole appears to be getting better with age having already notched 19 league goals this term, just three short of his total for 2018-19.

Cristiano Ronaldo

In the somewhat tiresome 'Ronaldo or Messi' debate about which superstar is "better", the former can at least point to his international successes with Portugal as something that sets him apart, having lifted Euro 2016 and the 2018-19 Nations League. That is just the tip of the iceberg for his brilliance in the 2010s, however. Across spells with Real Madrid and Juventus, Ronaldo has scored 335 league goals and laid on 95 assists. With Los Blancos he helped inspire four Champions League successes, also winning a couple of LaLiga titles. What a privilege it has been to see Ronaldo and Messi in the same era.

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