17 June 2012
| last updated at 08:25AM
EURO 2012: Spain’s Messi
LIVEWIRE: Super Silva turns page on 2010 disappointment
GNIEWINO (POLAND): A goal and a pair of assists - and still overshadowed by Fernando Torres’ brace in the drubbing of Ireland.
Yet David Silva is stamping his mark on Euro 2012 at the hub of Spain’s fantastically creative midfield.
Coming in with the confidence of a man who played a key role in Manchester City’s English Premier League success, Silva is already well on the way to wiping out memories of a frustrating World Cup where he featured in his country’s opening match loss to Switzerland before returning to the bench for the duration.
Silva set up Spain’s opener for Torres against the Irish after just four minutes and that set the tone for an imperious display before sending the Chelsea man through for his second 20 minutes from time.
Shortly after half time he had got on the scoresheet himself with a neat finish to all but kill off the Irish.
Having also claimed an assist for Cesc Fabregas’ goal in the earlier draw with Italy, Silva now has set up four of five Spanish goals here to date and scored the other himself - meaning he is not likely to find himself watching much of the action from the sidelines this time round.
Coach Vicente Del Bosque even recently went as far as to praise the 26-year-old as the “Messi of the Roja,” so highly does he rate his creative flair - even if his goalscoring record is not quite in the same league.
Notwithstanding the appositeness or otherwise of the Messi comparison, Silva, who possesses a majestic left foot, has become a fulcrum for his side’s creative play - linking superbly with fellow offensive midfield generals Andres Iniesta and Xavi.
“He is a very important player for us,” said Del Bosque ahead of the Irish encounter - a comment which proved entirely prescient.
Del Bosque admits with hindsight that Silva might have been afforded a second chance at the World Cup after being essentially culled in the wake of the Swiss defeat.
“Perhaps he didn’t have as much time as he might have hoped at the World Cup - but we are counting on him hugely for this tournament,” Del Bosque insisted.
Silva, who when he has time on his hands loves nothing more than to enjoy the tranquility of his village of Arguineguin on Gran Canaria in the Canary Islands, has left 2010 well behind and here is making up for lost time. -- AFP
Silva has become a fulcrum for Spain’s creative play