Silva heaps praise on Mancini
The World Cup-winning Spaniard was put in that bracket by Mancini last week after an outstanding start to the season. Yet the 25-year-old says he could not have raised his game to such a level without the support of his club boss, who signed him from Valencia for £26million last year. Silva, speaking alongside Mancini at a press conference to preview Tuesday's Champions League game against Villarreal, said: "I am very grateful for the comments he has made. "But first and foremost I am even more grateful for the faith he has shown in me since I signed for the club. "It is always very difficult when you are changing countries, changing leagues, changing style of football. "But now I am in my second season here I feel more settled than ever and I am very happy both on and off the field. "That is thanks to the man sat next to me, his backroom staff and my team-mates. "Because I am happy off the field I am showing good form on it now." Mancini on Monday morning remained effusive in his praise for Silva, who has been one of the chief inspirations for City's rise to the top of the Premier League. Silva, a member of City's FA Cup-winning side last season, also caught the eye with a double strike in Spain's Euro 2012 qualifying win over Scotland last week. Mancini, the former Inter Milan boss, said: "I think Silva is one of the best players in Europe and the world. "I think Silva can play for Real Madrid, Barcelona. He is an incredible player. "He has improved a lot in the last year as a guy and as a player. "I saw him for the first time when I played in the Champions League several years ago - Inter v Valencia. He was young then but he was incredible." Silva now hopes to carry his form into Tuesday's vital clash against Villarreal at the Etihad Stadium. City have collected just one point from their opening two Champions League Group A games against Napoli and Bayern Munich and need to win to kickstart their European challenge. Silva, a substitute for Saturday's Premier League win over Aston Villa as Mancini rotated his squad, said: "It is a very important match for us. We have got to get those three points. "If we don't get those three points there is going to be some distance between us and the teams at the top. It would be very tough after that." Silva has also stressed the need to put thoughts of next weekend's eagerly-anticipated derby against Manchester United at Old Trafford to one side for now. He added: "The weekend is a very important game against Manchester United and we are aware we need the points in that one too because they are right behind us in the league. "But for now we are just concentrating everything on tomorrow."