At a glance
It is almost a decade since silky playmaker David Silva was handed his Spain debut by Luis Aragonés and he has gone on to become an integral part of La Roja’s golden generation, making 94 appearances and scoring 23 goals. The Manchester City midfielder will this season be focused on winning the one trophy that has thus far eluded him: the UEFA Champions League.
Where to start? Silva was a mainstay as Spain won back-to-back EURO titles, in 2008 and 2012. Aged just 22, Silva scored the third as Aragonés’s side defeated Russia 3-0 in the 2008 semi-finals before playing an hour as they overcame Germany 1-0 in the Vienna decider. He retained his place four years later and opened the scoring as Vicente del Bosque led Spain to a 4-0 victory over Italy in the 2012 final. Now 30, Silva will hoping he and his compatriots can make it a hat-trick.
What he offers
Importance for Spain
Del Bosque likes to deploy a free-flowing attack and the former Valencia man is key to his plans. More noted for his slick build-up play, Silva nonetheless scored three goals in qualifying for UEFA EURO 2016, including the winner in a tricky fixture away to Belarus.
Debut: Spain 0-1 Romania (15 November 2006, friendly)
EURO final tournament (Spain record)
Appearances: 11 (Iker Casillas, 14)
Goals: 3 (Amancio Amaro and Fernando Torres, 5)
Record: W8 D3* L0
*Includes penalty shoot-out triumphs in UEFA EURO 2008 quarter-finals and UEFA EURO 2012 semi-finals