World Cup Watch: David Silva
By Ric Turner, Tue 10 June 2014 09:32
Spanish midfielder up for the challenge
David Silva made his international debut for Spain in a 1-0 friendly defeat against Romania in 2006, and has gone on to score 20 goals in 78 appearances at the time of writing.
Despite playing only a peripheral role in Spain's 2010 World Cup triumph in South Africa, making just two appearances, Silva is now firmly established as an integral player for the reigning champions. He scored the opening goal in the 2012 European Championship final against Italy, and is expected to start on Friday night as Spain take on Holland in a mouthwatering opening clash in Group B.
The gifted playmaker, however, is under no illusions as to the challenge Spain face if they are to retain their title. Silva said: “It’s going to be difficult, but after three consecutive wins, I’m up for the challenge. No European team has ever won in South America, but records are there to be broken.
“It’s definitely a tough group we’re in, and the first game against Holland is going to be difficult. But we have to win the first game to stay in the competition.”
Silva first honed his skills playing football with fruit and vegetables in Arguineguin, the small fishing town in Gran Canaria where he grew up. According to his grandmother Antonia, "David and his cousin Ransel would play football out in the street with potatoes or oranges. But when I didn't have any left I would throw them rolled up newspaper and they would play with that."
It's a far cry from today, with Silva now playing his trade for Spain and Manchester City wearing Adidas Battle Pack boots, but the diminutive midfielder hasn't let fame go to his head. “I still have the same friends as before. I would never trade them in for some posher friends. I’m very happy with the people I have in my environment who are around me so why would I change?