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The Citizens' midfielder believes this campaign has been the pinnacle of his career, and he has also been happy with the amount of football he has managed to play

Manchester City midfielder Gareth Barry has described this season as being the best of his career.

Barry has been an integral part of the City team who were crowned Premier League champions last weekend, and followed that up with a place in Roy Hodgson’s England squad for Euro 2012.

The 31-year-old told The Sun on Sunday: “It's definitely been my best season ever. The amount of games I've managed to get, considering the squad we've got, has been brilliant."

Barry appeared in 34 of City's 38 Premier League games, and made 44 first-team appearances in all competitions.

He continued: "I've been happy with my level of performance and I'm delighted with the way it's gone. Getting in Teams of the Year and winning individual awards has never bothered me.

“What is important is that fans and team-mates have spoken highly of me. And the manager too - and he's the one that really matters - so that's encouraging.

"This is the perfect club for me. The formation the manager likes to play, with me as one of two holding midfielders, suits me - even though I only scored one goal this season.

"I feel I can play on until my mid-30s. Hopefully, that will be at City. I don't expect to play every week but we'll be challenging for honours over the next few years and I can't ask for more than that at this stage."

While this may have been Barry’s best season ever, it could have been very different if he had let the criticism from fans and pundits alike get to him when he first joined City from Aston Villa.

In 2009 the holding midfielder looked destined to join Liverpool, who were competing in the Champions League, but instead opted to sign for mid-table Manchester City, then managed by Mark Hughes, in a £12 million deal, receiving a huge pay rise in the process.

The former Villa captain has now put all the controversy behind him and will look forward to returning to Villa Park when City face Chelsea in the Community Shield in August.

Barry added: “It'll be nice going back there as a title winner, that's for sure.

"Sitting here now, I made the right decision. A lot of things were said when I left Villa, I took some stick and people questioned my motives.

"I turned down the chance to move to Liverpool, which was a fantastic club with an amazing history.

“But the decision I made was the perfect one - hopefully even the Villa fans can accept that now. I still keep a close eye on Villa and I'm sure they'll come good again.

“Coach Kevin MacDonald was a big influence on my career and I'd love to see him get the manager's job.

"Yes, I got a fantastic contract from City but there were others on offer. It was never about the money.

"What appealed to me about City was the chance to be part of something that would be talked about for years to come. I've never regretted it - not for one minute.

“It's so long since City were successful so this group of players is making history and it feels great to be involved.

"We won City's first trophy in 35 years with the FA Cup and we've won the first title in 44 years. That is more important than anything.

"You hope it'll work out when you take a big decision - it couldn't have gone any better really.

"The quality of player is so high that I can't expect to be there forever but I've had an amazing three years.

"The next aim is to be the dominant force in the next few years and I feel I can play a part in that. Hopefully, we've got that winning mentality here now."


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