Silva & Balotelli enjoying the City life
Manchester City's David Silva believes he is in the best form of his life after settling into life in England.
The playmaker has earned widespread acclaim this season after adding a goalscoring edge to his outstanding passing vision, helping City to the top of the Barclays Premier League table.
"I am enjoying my best form ever - including my time with Valencia," Silva said. "I am the same person as last season but, as a footballer, I have matured a lot. I know the City style better and have adapted to all aspects of club life."
He added: "My English is more fluent and this always helps in communicating with my team-mates. In my early days here, I suffered a lot of anxiety over this."
Silva revealed he is being pushed to improve by manager Roberto Mancini with the goal of ending City's 43-year wait for a league title.
"Roberto Mancini insists I improve my performances even more and that's my challenge," he said. "I am a winner. I dream of winning the Premier League."
Such a dream seems to be in reach this season as the stunning 6-1 demolition of rivals Manchester United a little over a week ago gave City a five-point edge at the top of the table.
"Five points dealt United a blow to their morale and made it hard for them," Silva added.
"Our win over them showed we are the team to beat in England. We have shown we can become champions.
"In the summer, Mancini promised us a bigger attacking system and is fulfilling what he said. I think we are creating many openings because of this strategy."
Cheers me old Chap! Balotelli thanks 'Chappy' for setting up taunting t-shirt
Mario Balotelli has admitted there were many reasons for printing 'Why Always Me?' on his hidden shirt and revealing it after scoring against Manchester United.
The Italian striker has been among the headlines for all sorts of reasons since he joined City but thanked 'Chappy', Manchester City's kit man Les Chapman who during his playing career made over 700 appearances in the Football League, for organising the printing.
'I did it for many reasons,' said Balotelli. 'But I'll leave it for other people to figure out what it means. I'm sure people can work it out.
'Chappy, our kit man did it for me, I told him the words and he printed them. He is a good guy Chappy, one of the best.'
Chappy has legendary status among City's players and the former Oldham and Preston player may have to deal with a few more requests after Balotelli's stunt was so well received by City and neutral fans alike.
Asked whether he would have another slogan waiting to be sent off for press Balotelli said: 'No, because otherwise I'll get booked every week, so it was a one-off for United.'
The 21-year-old has been a controversial figure ever since he stepped foot in Manchester but the out spoken Italian isn't bothered by what people think of him.
He said: 'I don't care what people say about me. People are interested in my private life, but the thing at the weekend [letting fireworks off in his bathroom] didn't come from me, it came from one of my friends and one of my brother's friends.
'Maybe I should be more careful about who I let in my house but it wasn't about me, I didn't do anything.
'In a bad period people can talk about you and say what they want, but I am focussed on my football, my team-mates and my manager, girlfriends and my family, and what they say to me. What anyone else says is not important.
Balotelli was delighted with the win at Old Trafford and believes it was City's best performance of the season that displayed the real class and quality they have.
'I think this win and this performance showed everyone that we can be the best,' added Balotelli.
'I think it was one of the best we have ever played together for sure. At the moment, we play well every week, but that was special.
'Finally, the more important thing was the result, then the score and the performance. All of them were good for us against United, so we are happy.'