Manchester City midfielder Bernardo Silva remains hopeful that veteran team-mate Vincent Kompany will stay with the club for a “few more years” after his brilliant strike moved them closer to retaining the Premier League title.
The Belgium international became the Citizens’ unlikely hero in their 1-0 victory over Leicester City on Monday after his sensational long-range effort lifted them back above Liverpool in the race for the summit with a game to go.
It marked the 33-year-old’s first league goal from outside the box with the club and has put him on course to become a league champion for the fourth time during his Etihad Stadium tenure.
The centre-back, who has been waylaid by calf injuries in recent seasons, is out of contract at the end of the current campaign, though Pep Guardiola says that the club have spoken with him about an extension.
Silva is desperate for such a deal to be struck, telling reporters: “He’s a man for the big games. Whenever you need him, he’s always there.
“He doesn't feel the pressure. It doesn't matter to him – he likes the pressure, embraces it, and he gets even better for that.
“He is one of the biggest players this club has ever seen and I hope he can stay with us a few more years, of course. He's our captain and so important for us.
“If anyone deserves that goal, it's him. The way he works, what he means for the dressing room and the fans.
“It's not normal for a centre-back to arrive at that point and strike that ball, so it's a moment you will remember.
“But it won't mean anything if we don't win the title, so we have to win on Sunday to make this goal mean something."
Kompany’s strike took City to 95 points, a tally that would have won them the title in virtually any other Premier League campaign, yet Liverpool trail them by only a point with the Reds having lost only once in the top flight this season.
Silva and his team-mates sit on the cusp of a potential treble with an FA Cup final against Watford also looming and feels that the two sides have brought the best out of each other by continually winning and forcing the other to respond.
"Both teams have been amazing this season, especially in the Premier League," he added.
"If you look at the points, we have 95 and they have 94 - it's unbelievable. In a normal season both teams would win the Premier League.
"The pressure is high for both teams - we put it on them, and they put it on us. They make us better and we make them better because we both know we need to win.
"But it depends on us for the last game [against Brighton and Hove Albion].
"These players are used to the pressure - season after season we play for all the titles, all the cups. It's good, it means you are playing for big things. No pressure means you are playing for nothing.
"These are the moments every player wants to live. Two weeks to go, and we want to win two more titles."