David Silva is still clutching tightly to the baton which Luis Aragonés handed him in Spain's senior side over a decade ago. The Manchester City midfielder continues to conduct La Roja's pass-and-move symphony together with Andrés Iniesta (what an ovation El Molinón gave him last night by the way). Last night in Gijón, Spain brushed Israel aside with a spectacular display of football based on positioning, possession and passing - it was a polished orchestral piece, reminiscent of the team's glorious best in 2008, 2010 and 2012. Silva suddenly appears on the right, on the left, through the middle... And he is constantly interacting with the rest of his team mates, playing the ball with that gossamer-like touch he possesses; and last night he crowned another great personal performance with a goal. After being picked out by a great Jordi Alba through-ball, Arguineguín's other magical football wizard (after Valerón) needed just one touch to sit the ball up before firing low under the keeper.
David Silva, worth his weight in gold for Spain
With Sergio Busquets back playing at his best, Thiago in generous mood (he teed up Vitolo to perfection) and with Diego Costa now fully adapted to Spain's style of play, Lopetegui's team took the game exactly where they wanted to. But it was Silva who really lit up the match and last night in Gijón he really left us with the sensation that if only he scored more, comparisons would surely be drawn with Messi. Skill and technique are attributes which he has never lacked - innate qualities he has shown since his time with Spain's youth teams. And now he is the fourth top goal scorer in the history of Spain's national team with 29 goals. But Silva has always preferred to set up his team mates to score rather than put them away himself...
Silva shines brighter than Messi
By the way, after watching Argentina's qualifier against Chile (astute programming by State broadcaster RTVE to show the match live), it's clear that Spain are light years ahead of the Albiceleste and their South American neighbours, the other La Roja. And David Silva's display against Israel made Messi's against Chile pale in comparison.