If Sylvinho makes his first City Premier League start against Bolton this weekend, the Brazilian defender’s first thoughts will be for his injured teammate Wayne Bridge.
The England defender was stretchered off against Chelsea having sustained medial ligament damage and is likely to be absent until after Christmas.
Though Gareth Barry comfortably slotted in Bridge’s position for the remainder of the game, Mark Hughes could draft in the experienced Sylvinho on Saturday for his League debut for the Blues.
The popular former Arsenal and Barcelona star made a polished City debut against Scunthorpe in October and is standing by for a call from his manager, though if it comes, he admits he would rather win selection by other means.
“First of all, when you have somebody who is injured, the whole team is upset,” he said. “It doesn’t matter if it’s Wayne Bridge or someone else who plays in my position. We all want the best for each other, but this is where having a big squad helps.
Of course, if an opportunity comes along I will look to take it and it’s very important we have everybody fit for every single game in case you are called upon. That’s what I try to do each week – be prepared.
Sylvinho remembers a few feisty tussles with Bolton from his time with Arsenal. Back then, Wanderers seemed to save a special reception for the easy-on-the-eye Gunners – and he is warning the Blues to expect more of the same.
“Every single game in the Premier League is hard and Bolton will be fighting hard and it won’t be easy,” he said.
“But I think we’ve got a lot of excellent technical players, backed up by a physical presence of our own and I think if you can match playing football with great spirit, you can have the edge over most teams in the Premier League.”
Sylvinho also revealed he is loving life with City and is drawing inspiration from a very special person in his life.
“It’s been a terrific few months, but people close to me know that I have been worried about my family and how they would settle in Manchester,” he revealed. “My daughter was born in Spain and is only seven years-old and was learning Spanish and Catalan while I was at Barcelona and doing really well.
“Then, suddenly, I had to make a decision to move to England and I was particularly worried about her – but I shouldn’t have been! She is amazing and she has never complained once about leaving Spain, her school and her friends.
“She has settled in so well that I should have known better. She doesn’t miss Barcelona and is very settled in Manchester, making new friends and in a few weeks’ time, her English is going to be much better than mine!”
Injured Bridge has also paid tribute to the 35-year-old Brazilian.
“Ashley Cole told me how good and what a help Sylvinho was to him at Arsenal and I am finding exactly the same to be true,” he concluded.