RB Leipzig striker Andre Silva has long enjoyed Portugal teammate Cristiano Ronaldo's stamp of approval. - © getty images
RB Leipzig striker Andre Silva has long enjoyed Portugal teammate Cristiano Ronaldo's stamp of approval. - © getty images

Andre Silva: Who is the RB Leipzig and Portugal striker?


Andre Silva has Cristiano Ronaldo's seal of approval and rewrote the history books at Eintracht Frankfurt. bundesliga.com profiles the RB Leipzig and Portugal striker...

Andre Silva

Age: 25
Club: RB Leipzig
Position: Striker
Country: Portugal (45 caps, 18 goals)

Key stats

Silva first caught the eye at the age of eight, when he scored 15 goals in one game - yes, ONE GAME - whilst playing for Salgueiros against Vianese. After a spell in the Boavista youth team, as well as a further stint with Salgueiros and a 12-month stay at Padroense, a player dubbed 'Portugal's most exciting prospect since Ronaldo' sealed a dream move to Porto. He was only 15 at the time, but age proved to be just a number as the 6'1" front man - having impressed in the youth ranks - made his pro debut for the B team a month after turning 18.

Silva was handed his maiden start for the Porto seniors two years later, and went on to score 24 goals in 58 appearances in his two seasons at the Estadio do Dragao. With 16 league goals in 2016/17 - compared to nine the previous campaign - the lithe right-footer attracted interest from some of Europe's biggest clubs. Italian giants AC Milan made him their record transfer in summer 2017, but "cultural struggles" checked his progress and, after scoring 10 goals in 40 outings over two seasons, Silva moved to La Liga outfit Sevilla on loan.

Silva was the talk of Europe during his Porto days. - getty images

Breathing Iberian air once again, Silva started the 2018/19 campaign with a debut hat-trick against Rayo Vallecano. He also hit a brace in a 3-0 win over Real Madrid, taking his tally to seven goals in as many games - more than Lionel Messi at the time - before being interrupted by hamstring and knee troubles. A further two goals and one assist were the sum parts of his spell in southern Spain, while injury also denied him a place in Portugal's UEFA Nations League Finals squad.

There is, however, no denying Silva's international pedigree. He won his first senior cap in September 2016, and became the youngest Portugal player to score a hat-trick on only his second outing for his country - against the Faroe Islands. He also ranked in the top 10 scorers during 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying, with nine goals in 10 games. His total international tally, including all youth levels from U16 through U21, reads 47 goals in 113 appearances.

Watch: Andre Silva's Portuguese roots

Silva joined Frankfurt on loan from Milan in 2019, before signing a permanent deal with Die Adler a year later. He scored 45 goals in 71 competitive appearances in Eintracht colours, including 40 in 57 Bundesliga outings - something only five players have managed in fewer games. Second only to Robert Lewandowski in the 2020/21 scoring charts with a club-record and career-best 28 goals in 32 Bundesliga appearances, he switched to Leipzig in summer 2021.

Plays a bit like: Fredi Kanoute

With an unflappable composure and poacher's nose in the opposition box, it is little wonder Silva eared comparisons with club legend Fredi Kanoute during the early part of his one-season loan with Sevilla. He's not the fastest in a footrace, but it's his speed of thought that makes him such an effective centre-forward, punctuated by the uncanny knack for being in the right place at the right time.

Watch: All 28 of Silva's Bundesliga goals in 2020/21

Did you know?

Unlucky for some, but not for the Frankfurt forward, Silva reached 13 senior international goals in just 28 matches. It took Portugal captain Ronaldo 41 games to hit the same number.

What they're saying

"Andre Silva is doing a phenomenal job, and not just thanks to his goals." - Ronaldo when asked about Real's reported interest in Silva during his Porto days

"Andre is a proper goal-getter, something his tally of 28 goals from last season demonstrates. He is a complete forward as well, though - he can finish with both feet, he's strong in the air and he's technically gifted." - Leipzig technical director Christopher Vivell

"Andre was someone who would not put the ball down until he was literally forced to go home by his parents." - former Salgueiros youth coordinator, Alexandre Pereira

"I explained to him that we were not there to humiliate anyone, and the game was won." - former Salgueiros coach, Luis Machado, following Silva's 15-goal haul against Vianese