Even in the biggest rivalry, football is not always the first thing and David Silva knows it before the match between Manchester City and Manchester United this weekend.
When his young son, Mateo, was fighting for his life after being "extremely premature" last December, a message that the red half of Manchester stressed is that in life there are more important things than what happens in a football field. .
"Some things are much more important than football", tweeted Michael Carrick, the then captain of Manchester United. "All the best for you and your family, David, especially for your little man".
"And at the end of the day, we are practicing a sport," Silva told ESPN FC in his role as ambassador for Grupo Anfi, a resort in his native Gran Canaria. "In addition to this, we are all people and I was very happy to receive that nice gesture by Michael Carrick".
When Matteo approaches his first birthday the following month, fortunately he is progressing well after spending the first five months of his life in intensive care. Now she is strong enough to be at home with her family and Silva can completely concentrate on football after a traumatic period.
The coach of the city Pep Guardiola gave the unconditional and compassionate midfielder to leave the previous season, which allowed Silva to return to Spain when needed, but the 32-year-old continued to play and now admits he helped the team who broke many records on the way to the Premier League last season proved to be a crucial release for him.
"You know, I do not know (as I played last season) and I ask sometimes," said Silva. "Maybe it was a tone when I was in the field, where you put things aside, you could forget what was going on and enjoy being in the field.
"It is (support of the City) something that I will always be grateful for, with the way the coach, the coaching staff and the players treated me.It was something that seemed perfect for me and something that would be memorable in every moment. "
Since last season, Silva has marked the time of his international career with Spain, having helped La Roja win the World Cup in 2010 and the European Championship in 2008 and 2012.
In the 2018 World Cup in Russia, when Spain was eliminated on penalties in the second round by local people, it was their last curtain and Silva admitted that the situation with Mateo influenced his decision to withdraw as selected.
"I think it was something I started thinking about everything that was happening in my private life last season," said Silva. "Then it came to a critical point during the World Cup, it was a difficult year, which culminated with a World Cup, and I thought it was the perfect time to spend more time with my family.
"It's nice to rest a bit, and of course it's nice to spend time with the family, even mentally.The good thing about international holidays is that I can bring my son back to Gran Canaria for a little bit of sun."
Silva never hid his desire to return to Gran Canaria at the end of his career. Unlike many Spanish players, the former Valencia midfielder has not considered moving to Barcelona or Real Madrid as the pinnacle of his career and has established himself well in Manchester since his arrival in 2010, despite the climate being very far from the sun of the whole year of the Canary Islands.
But because of his contract expiring in June 2020, Silva admits that he would be willing to end his career with Las Palmas in the Canary Islands.
"At some point I'd like to play there, but you never know, right?" He said. "Of course you can not talk about these things until the right time.
"For now, I'm just thinking about the season and a half that I have left and I enjoy every minute, I focus on doing well for the city, I will leave all sorts of discussions and talks (about their future) until then and I think it will be the I need to see how I am physically, mentally, and it will also depend on the club, of course, to see what they think. "
The immediate future revolves around the Manchester derby on Sunday, the 177th time that City and United face each other.
The Portuguese coach has circumvented the controversial accusation against his rival tomorrow which emphasizes the benefits gained by avoiding financial fair play.
With his particular style, the Brazilian defender praised Pep, while confessing that his relationship with Mourinho is not so good, and made it clear that he does not regret having participated in the PSG.
The morbid Derby Inglaterrra will, as always, be in the hands of the Manchester United and Manchester City technicians.
Historically, the United States is the best in the city, with the Red Devis winning 73 games compared to 51 City victories. But the gap was closed by the arrival of Silva eight years ago and City, having won three titles in this decade, is now the power of Manchester.
They have not finished under United in the Premier League since Sir Alex Ferguson led his team to the title in 2012-2013 and Silva admitted that the derby has changed beyond recognition during his stay in the city.
"The derby has changed since I was there," he said. "A key was the 6-1 home win (November 2011) I think things have changed since then, when they come to play with us here or elsewhere, they probably respect us more than before.
"Respect has always been there, it does not matter who you're playing with, but maybe now, the way the city is seen by United has changed and we could have the advantage." This game has a great impact, whether it's what you do wrong or good, whatever the result of the derby, it has a huge impact ".
If the Manchester derby is still the biggest game of English football, it is open to debate. Traditionalists always quote United vs. Liverpool is historically the most important game, with the two clubs having won many important trophies more than any other team in England.
The renaissance of Liverpool under Jürgen Klopp, which coincided with the recent failure of the United in competing for more honors, has made his games with the City some of the most anticipated. And Silva admits that there are many Premier League games that represent a challenge for the City.
"Liverpool is doing very well," he said. "But Chelsea are also in good shape at the moment and then, if you look behind them, you have Arsenal and Tottenham, I know Unai Emery personally and I know he will get the best out of that team of players, he is an exceptional coach. .
"The United are a bit out of the way maybe, but they have always had a great team and they still have a great team and I'm sure that, at the end of the season, they will not be far away".