Andre Silva (l.) admires Portugal teammate Cristiano Ronaldo (r.), although is keen to carve out his own path in the game. - © David Ramos/Getty Images
Andre Silva (l.) admires Portugal teammate Cristiano Ronaldo (r.), although is keen to carve out his own path in the game. - © David Ramos/Getty Images

"Cristiano Ronaldo a role model" - Andre Silva


With two goals in two games under his belt, Eintracht Frankfurt striker Andre Silva speaks to about emulating Portuguese compatriot Cristiano Ronaldo, and why swapping AC Milan for Germany was the right decision… Andre Silva, you've scored 10 goals in your last 12 Bundesliga games for Eintracht Frankfurt. Is there a secret to your goalscoring form?

Andre Silva: "I think that the secret is, like I say a lot of times, to find myself again because I worked hard these last years. I changed leagues, I changed house, places to live, and it's never easy. I had two new languages that I didn't know, I think at this moment I can say that I found myself and I'm feeling the right way. I'm feeling in my best performance, and I think that's the secret. The most important thing is the mind, and I think that was the key to these moments."

Watch: Highlights of Frankfurt's Silva-inspired win over Hertha Berlin last time out Have all those experiences, changing country, learning new languages all helped you to grow as a player and a person?

Silva: "As I said, in my career, I think in some moments I could show a little bit what I can do. But I never say that I have the most confidence, I was a kid, and I needed to grow. Every year that passes, I'm feeling more of a man and more of a player, and I think it's the reason that things are going well. I'm happy about this, and I work hard for this too, and I will still work harder in the next times." What's the feeling like to score goals?

Silva: "Yeah, it's amazing. I started in football because I wanted to feel this type of fire inside of me. I always felt fire in me to achieve a lot of goals and to make my best all the time, and I think one thing is to make the best for me, and the other thing is to make the best for the people that are supporting us. It feels very good, and I can say it makes my day when this happens. That's what I play for." Would you say that you're living the dream by playing professionally and scoring goals?

Silva: "I think I'll always change year by year. The dream that always stays is to become a better person and in this case a better player. But I think things will happen for a reason, and we just need to stay focused and work hard, and not think about a lot in the future or the past. I think this is the most important thing." Do you feel like you're getting more people in Portugal interested in the Bundesliga and watching you play every week?

Silva: "I don't know, maybe it's a little bit of that as you said, but in this case, I'm feeling very proud if this happens because it's the reason I'm working and it's good that people are paying attention. Wherever I'll play, I'll have my people that support us... I think in the place I will be in the future, or now, I will always have people that support me because of my game and the type of player I am. I'm feeling very happy about this, and I'm feeling proud." Did you ever imagine that you would become one of the most popular players in your home country?

Silva: "Of course, because when you're a child and you see the players that are playing at that moment when I was a child. We as kids dream to be in the same place as them and achieve the same as them. But I think the most important thing is to focus on myself, and see my way because every way of different people is different. It makes me proud to see football players achieve a lot of goals, and I think it's good for our country and for Portuguese players because people look for us in different ways, in a good way. But I think we need to focus on our way, to make our best, because every player is different." Do you feel like a golden generation for Portugal is coming after being inspired by the country winning the European Championships in 2016?

Silva: "I think, for example, if a Portuguese player can achieve a big goal, they make the kids dream - like, if this guy who is born in the same country as me, that has the same culture or lives in the same place, if he can make it, maybe I can make it? It can make the kids dream, and I think it's the bigger reason that afterwards, Portuguese guys can achieve more too."

Watch: Goncalo Pacienca and Silva - recently Portuguese pals in Frankfurt Who would you say is your idol?

Silva: "My big idol? It was Cristiano [Ronaldo] because in my time he was already at [Manchester] United, and he was the star in Portugal." Do you have the goal in mind to become that same idol for kids watching in the world?

Silva: "I try to focus on me and make myself the best player and person I can be, and it feels good to be the example for other kids. It makes you feel that you're taking the right way. It's a dream come true, but I think the most important thing is to be clear that we need to be an example, a good example, not a bad example. I think we need to focus on this and it's the most important thing." Do you get more attention when you return home to Porto than when you walk around Frankfurt?

Silva: "No, I think different to here, people here are hotter, you know! They want to touch you, they want to grab you, they want a photo or autograph or something like this, but they respect you. For me, talking about my experience, they respect you always, and they want to share a little bit, talk a little bit, but it’s normal."

Andre Silva is settling into Germany's football fan culture quickly. - imago images / HMB-Media On your idol, Cristiano Ronaldo, do you try and live and play in the same way he does?

Silva: "I mean, I don't live the same life as him, I can say for sure! But I imagine from what I see, that it's difficult because he's a big idol, everyone knows him, everyone wants something about him. But I mean, my way, it will be good if I achieve the same as Cristiano because he has done a lot and he still does it now. But I think my way is different, and I'm focused on my way, and Cristiano has his own way." Would you say though that the way Ronaldo has built his career over time, on and off the pitch, is something you can use as a role model for yourself?

Silva: "Yeah, of course. If it's possible to achieve the same as him, I'll sign right now and say I want this. I know it'll be difficult to achieve the same as him, it needs a lot of work and discipline, but everyone is different. I don't know what will happen to me. I have dreams, I have my own goals, and I will try my best in my way, and I think that's the most important thing." This summer you made a permanent move from AC Milan to Frankfurt. What drove that decision to stay in the Bundesliga?

Silva: "I mean, I had one year in Milan and I can say it wasn't the best year for me. I mean, mostly mentally, it was not a good year. I came from Porto, from playing, and things were good - and after in Milan, I think things were not the best for me. One thing that I have is when things are not going good for me, I try to make something new, to change because I don't like to be stable or not good. So I try new things, and I tried to get out because I don't like to feel bad. So I never give up and I try to make good things for myself. I think it was the best decision."

Ronaldo (l.) may be out in front as Portugal's record scorer, but Silva (r.) is up to 16 goals in 35 games for his nation. - imago images / ITAR-TASS Do you feel like you now have a better chance to develop as a player than you had when you joined Milan?

Silva: "Yeah, of course. But I think now, I'm 24 years old, and when I was playing in Milan I was 22, 21, something like this. And I can't compare. It was different times, a different mind, more mature, different body, and I think now that I'm playing and feeling very good that if I play in another competitive league, I will be good. I don't know for sure what will happen, but now I'm playing in the Bundesliga and I feel very good. Bundesliga is one of the top leagues, if not one of the best, but I think now in this time I'm a better player and a better person mentally, and things are going well, and I'll do my best to continue like this." Most of the time for Frankfurt you've played alongside Bas Dost in die Adler's attack. What's it been like to play alongside him?

Silva: "Yeah, we understand each other, he knows what he is and isn't capable of doing, and he knows what I'm capable of doing and what I can't do, and me the same about him. I think we can share those little things and we understand each other, so things will be better - we can play together and understand together, outside and inside." Last season you scored one of the goals of the season against Hertha Berlin, with an incredible assist from Daichi Kamada. It was even named the Goal of the Month, what was that like?

Silva: "It feels amazing. The play was fantastic by Daichi and the finish was very nice from me. To be honest, I didn't think too much when the ball came to me, I just tried to put the ball in the best way I could at that moment. It feels good to have this prize. It's good."

Watch: Silva wins the Bundesliga Goal of the Month for June What are your goals with Frankfurt for this season?

Silva: "Yeah, I think that we're just looking for the next game. We try to make our best, not thinking too much, and the next game is always the most important. We'll try and make our best in training and in the games. I think the goal is to reach European competition, but we understand that we're in the Bundesliga and we have a lot of difficult teams around us, so we'll try to make our best and we need to be better than the other teams to achieve our main goal."