Silva is world class – Mancini

The City manager is baffled that Barcelona and Real Madrid
overlooked the gifted midfielder, signed from Valencia in 2009, who
has played a dominant role in the club’s 100% start to the season.
Mancini said: “Silva is a top, top player. I don’t know why he
didn’t go to Barca or Real Madrid because he’s Spanish but we are
lucky because he’s here. “If he had gone to Barca two years ago
everyone would say he’s one of the best players in the world – and
he is one of the best players in the world. “He’s different from
Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo because they are strikers and score a
lot of goals but I think he’s the same as Xavi and Iniesta.” City
will make their debut in the Champions League on Wednesday when
Napoli come to Manchester, and Mancini will hope to reap the
dividends of a rotation policy that is one of the benefits of his
large and talented squad. Mancini admits the players may not be
happy to kick their heels on the bench – for example Edin Dzeko did
not play a minute of City’s 3-0 win over Wigan at the weekend
despite scoring four goals in the previous match. Mancini said:
“They may not be happy – that’s impossible because every player
wants to play always, but I’m the manager and I need to take this
decision. “Now we have a difficult match coming up, we play every
three days and these players like Edin, Kolarov, Savic, Nasri have
played two games in four days and they need to recover. “We have a
long year and I need all the players to be available as much as
possible and sometimes it’s better that they rest. “We have the
first game in the Champions League for the club, it will be an
exciting night but we need to have a focus and make sure we beat
them.” Mancini accepts that Serie A is behind the Premier League in
terms of quality but insists City should not think they can stroll
to victory against the Italian side, who were from the pot of
fourth seeds in last month’s Champions League draw but have a
pedigree in the competition going back to the days when Diego
Maradona ruled the roost in Naples. He added: “I think at this
moment Serie A is behind the Premier League but in the Champions
League it’s different. “For Napoli it will be the first time in the
European Cup after many years, after Maradona, and for them, like
us, the first night will be very exciting. “They are a very good
team and the Champions League is not like the Premier League, we
only have six games and you need to win always if you want to go in
the second stage. “It’s strange because our group is a very hard
group and all the teams can finish top or in fourth position.” City
of course, have the Maradona connection too now – Sergio Aguero,
who has already hit six goals this season, is the Argentinian
legend’s son-in-law. Mancini said: “I don’t know if Maradona will
support Naples or City – he will have mixed feelings!”