David Silva has admitted that football was a “really good escape” while his son Mateo was in hospital having been born five months prematurely.
The ex-Spain international was given permission from manager Pep Guardiola to fly back and forth to Spain to see Mateo, which saw the midfielder miss plenty of matches and training sessions in the process.
Despite having what could be described as the most difficult time of his career to date, Silva still played a key role for City as they clinched a Premier League and League Cup double, scoring 10 goals in 40 games across all competitions.
And the 32-year-old has said that football provided a welcome distraction for him during a difficult time last season.
Silva told BBC Sport (via the Daily Mail): “Yes, I’ve said it before, the only time I could get it out of my mind was when I was playing. Then I would start thinking about everything once the match was over.
“It was a really good escape. Football is what we like and enjoy most.”
Mateo is now fit and healthy, with Silva and his wife, Eva, showing him off to the Etihad crowd before City’s 6-1 mauling of Huddersfield Town last month.
Silva, though, has admitted that he was not in the best of ways last season, claiming that he went through times where he struggled to sleep and eat.
A brilliant day in every single way for the Silvas.
Football really is beautiful. 👪 pic.twitter.com/lhLOJK3DZ6
— Squawka News (@SquawkaNews) August 19, 2018
The City star added: “It was really difficult. It was so tough, him being in hospital for so long. Besides, he was in Spain, meaning I had to travel a lot and could hardly train.
“I didn’t sleep much, I wasn’t eating well, but luckily the team was doing really well and that helped me a lot.”
With a testing period now behind him, Silva has started the new season in fine form.
He has played in three of City’s four Premier League games so far, scoring one goal and creating a joint-league-high 13 chances, tied with Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah.
City’s next game is on Saturday at home to newly-promoted Fulham.