The 34-year-old midfielder announced he will be walking away from the Etihad this summer on the back of a stunning ten years in Manchester.
In a new documentary about Silva, produced by City TV called Made in Gran Canaria, Guardiola said: "I'd only say that he has to be proud for all that he has achieved in football because he has been consistent and, especially at this club, he will be always remembered as one of the biggest, biggest, biggest players ever to wear the Man City shirt.
"If we're talking about the top five, David is one of them, and I don't say that lightly."
Guardiola went on to discuss how Silva stays out of the limelight because of his dedication to the sport.
He said: "He's not interested in giving interviews, social media, Twitter, Instagram, any of that.
"And it seems like people like David get less recognition than people who do that all day.
"But I'll tell you something that he does have, and that's the respect of his fellow professionals – of his team-mates, his rivals, his managers, managers he's played against. And he has earned all of that.
"Some have all the respect outside but inside the changing room they have none. David is exactly the opposite and that's the best legacy he could have."