Football

Man City's Kevin de Bruyne wants fairy-tale send-off for David Silva

Belgian star wants midfield partner to leave City as a Champions League winner

Kevin de Bruyne is hoping to crown David Silva's glorious 10 years at Manchester City by completing the Spaniard's set of medals with a Champions League win next month.

Silva has won four English Premier League titles among 11 major trophies since joining City in 2010, as well as the World Cup and two European Championships at international level with Spain.

The 34-year-old midfielder has never tasted Champions League glory but he has one last chance with Pep Guardiola's men, with his contract ending at the end of the season.

City resume their Champions League campaign at home to Real Madrid on Aug 7, holding a 2-1 lead from the first leg of their last-16 tie, with the winners progressing to the quarter-finals, which will be at a neutral venue in Lisbon.

De Bruyne scored twice in Silva's final EPL game as City thrashed Norwich City 5-0 last Sunday and labelled his midfield partner one of the best players to ever grace the English game.

"For me, he is one of the best players who has ever played in the Premier League," said the Belgian midfielder.

"You can always debate who is No. 1 but, when you play with him, you can appreciate what he does day-in, day-out. I have played with him for five years - a long time.

"We have won a lot together, we play well together. We complement each other really well in different ways.

"And he's such a nice guy as well. He is going to be a big miss. It would be great if we could win the Champions League, so it could end well for him."

Chelsea are England's other surviving Champions League representatives, although they are 3-0 down on aggregate against Bayern Munich, who romped to the Bundesliga title after the restart.

Former Manchester United captain Roy Keane hailed the job manager Frank Lampard is doing at Stamford Bridge.

Keane said Lampard has performed better than Ole Gunnar Solskjaer at Old Trafford, despite the fact United finished third, one place higher than Chelsea.

He told Sky Sports: "Frank's done a better job, I have to say.

"I expect them to be there or thereabouts. But, the way they've played, the way Frank comes across, he comes across really well.

"There's no nonsense about him. He's made big decisions, he's brought a lot of young players in, good players, good quality, but they've needed an opportunity, they took it.

FA CUP FINAL

"They finished in the top four and obviously if they can win an FA Cup, great achievement."

The Blues play Arsenal in the FA Cup final this weekend.

Keane's former teammate Gary Neville, however, highlighted that Lampard and Solskjaer remain some way away from Guardiola and Liverpool's Juergen Klopp.

He told Sky Sports: "Pep Guardiola and Juergen Klopp are at a different level as coaches, they are at the peak of their careers while Ole and Frank are at the very beginning.

"The projects are very different at those clubs, Juergen has been at Liverpool for five years, Pep four years.

"Solskjaer and Lampard haven't had that time yet, but they are showing they are going in the right direction." - AFP

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