A picture to melt anyone's heart - just moments before Manchester City's first home game of the 2018/19 season, David Silva appeared cradling his son Mateo. The image of the City star with his son brings to an end months of terrible stress and worry for Silva which he described as "the darkest and toughest months of my life".
Mateo lightens up the Etihad
Silva showed off little Mateo to home supporters at the Etihad, and City fans responded with rapturous applause. His team mates knew that it was an important moment for the Spanish player and were thrilled to give the little toddler a tickle to make him smile.
Mateo was born permaturely last December after just 25 weeks. His weakness and vulnerability meant he spent the next five months in an incubator in a Valencia hospital. During those anxious first few months, David Silva made many trips back to Spain to see how his son was coping - a complicated situation as Manchester City had entered the crucial part of the season.
City show support for Silva
It took up so much of his time that he had to miss City's celebrations after clinching the Premier League, as he flew back to Spain to see his son immediately after the last game. City players and coach Pep Guardiola showed great support for Silva, who showed his appreciation to them with a message on Instagram.
As it turned out, it was a perfect afternoon for Silva, who showed off his son to Etihad, made his 250th appearance for City and was on target with a superb free-kick in the 6-1 win which puts Guardiola's team top of the table. He was subtituted on 64 minutes with the home crowd on their feet clapping as he made way for Riyad Mahrez.