David Silva believes Spain teammate Andres Iniesta is the world's best player - better even than Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.
The Manchester City and Spain star thinks Iniesta has been "so important" to the all-conquering Spanish team over the past four years, and is backing the Barca playmaker to fire Spain to tournament glory once again.
Iniesta will go head-to-head with Portugal and Ronaldo tonight in Euro 2012's first semi-final. Spain play Portugal at the Donbass Arena in Donetsk this evening, while Germany take on Italy in the second semi-final tomorrow night.
So far, Ronaldo has light up Euro 2012, carrying Paulo Bento's side through the Group of Death and past Czech Republic with three goals in four games. And his performances on the international stage have opened up the debate over who is now the world's best player - Ronaldo or Messi - but Silva thinks Iniesta is better than both.
Silva revealed he often gets asked his opinion on how Messi and Ronaldo compare, but the City midfielder rejected both superstars, and plumped for his Spanish colleague instead.
"The press often ask me about Messi and Ronaldo and who is the best but one thing for me is very clear," said Silva. "For me, the No. 1 is Andres Iniesta, because he is my teammate for Spain and I can see that he is able to do even more difficult things on the pitch."
The Premier League winner hailed Iniesta's "magic" ability, and admitted he's crucial to Spain's success. The reigning world and European champions have not been at their fluent best this summer, but Iniesta has stood out as one of the tournament's most impressive performers.
Silva concedes Ronaldo has been in equally fine form at Euro 2012, but insisted that Vicente Del Bosque's side were not obsessing over how to stop the Madrid man when they meet this eveing.
"Portugal are a good team and have played some great football," said the City star. "They have also shown that they are not just about Ronaldo, no matter how good he is for Portugal and Real Madrid. We are not obsessed just with playing Ronaldo."
Ronaldo and Messi both enjoyed unbelievable seasons in La Liga last year. Ronaldo scored 46 goals for Real Madrid as Jose Mourinho's men wrestled the league title from Barcelona, while Messi brought up a half-century of league goals, hitting the net 50 times for the Catalans as they finished runners-up for the first time since 2008.
The El Clasico pairing have split the FIFA World Player of the Year award between them for the past four years, and one of the two is likely to make it a fifth straight year in 2012.
But Silva's opinion throws Iniesta into the debate. The World Cup 2010 winner fired the winning goal against Holland in South Africa, and if he repeats the trick this summer in Ukraine and Poland, he would stake his claim to be considered among the world's best.
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