Pep Guardiola has reserved special praise for John Stones.
After a rocky start to his City career, this season, he has finally found his feet and shown the world what he is capable of.
“What I want for my players, all of them, is to be happy,” said Guardiola ahead of City’s trip to Burnley.
“He struggled to be happy here. Especially for injuries, for some personal problem and for many reasons – lack of minutes because I didn’t see him like he is right now.
“In the past he was not like he is right now, with stability, happiness, commitment and focusing.
“That’s why I give a lot of credit to him because he overcame this situation himself.
“He could have fell down, he could have even gone even more down but it was completely the opposite. He said, ‘No, I am here, I know how good I am’.
“He didn’t need my confidence. He didn’t need the words or the minutes.
“[He said] ‘I know who I am, I know I am a top central defender and I am going to show you, the Premier League, England and the world that I am good’.”
“The player who needs confidence to play is mistaken,” he added.
“They have to have the right mentality. They have to feel they are the best and when that happens you can play.
“I give minutes to everyone, not just one or two players. Sometimes there are exceptions, but most of the time they play. When this happens, it is your moment. You don’t play for me, you play for yourself.
“The best players I have trained in my life, they don’t play for me, for the media, for the club. They play for themselves to show they are the best and when that happens they don’t need nice words or compliments.
“John overcame the situation himself and that’s why he deserves all my respect and he deserves a big compliment.”