The 25-year-old believes his Spanish team-mate is the best he has ever played with, and praised his goalscoring performance at Upton Park on Saturday as "amazing"
Silva played a key role in securing Manuel Pellegrini's men their first away win of the Premier League season, combining dangerously with Sergio Aguero and scoring City's decisive third goal.
After the match Richards was emphatic in his praise of his team-mate's performance, calling him the best player he has ever played with.
| MAN CITY LATEST
|16/1||Man City are 16/1 with BetVictor to win the Champions League
“He’s like a little wizard, isn’t he? He is class. He is probably the best player I have played with. He just makes it look easy, the way he goes past people. He is just amazing.”
Asked how he deals with Silva in training, Richards jokingly replied: “I don’t give him any room – I just smash him! He doesn’t come near me!
“We have an agreement – you don’t come near me, I won’t hurt you. You know what I mean? That is the only way you can stop him.”
West Ham midfielder Mark Noble was similarly complementary about Silva, even suggesting he is better than fellow playmakers Christian Eriksen, Eden Hazard and Mesut Ozil.
“At the minute he is probably better.” the Hammers midfielder told reporters. “He’s got that experience. He has won things with Spain. He has won championships here.
“He has won cups here and he is like that week in, week out. He is one of the best players on the pitch every time he goes out there.
“That’s what Spain seem to be bringing through these days. Every player that comes over or every player that you see on the telly is a top, top player.
“That’s why they have been winning everything over the last few years.”