Vieira, who has now taken up the role of elite development squad manager at the club, believes that Silva is the type of player City need if they are to win the Premier League title.
"Since he joined the football club, I don't think we have really said enough how good he is," Vieira is quoted as saying by Manchester Evening News. "He is one of the best players in the world, no doubt about it. For me he is up there.
"When you talk about Messi and Ronaldo, yes they are fantastic, but David can be put in the same category of players who could play in any team around the world. His football brain, his ability to control the ball and play football, is unbelievable. I am a huge fan.
"When the team is struggling, that is when the leaders come out, and David showed he is a leader. He may be very quiet but when he is on the field, he takes the responsibility, and that is the kind of leader you need in your team."
Silva has made 32 appearances for City this season.