By Marco Monteiro Silva with Portugal
Twenty-one-year-old Andre Silva is living the dream. He’s playing next to his childhood idol, representing Portugal in Russia as a European champion and has recently swapped the blue and white stripes of Porto for AC Milan. Most importantly, he's scored almost a goal a game for Portugal since his call up just 8 months ago. FIFA.com sits down with Portugal’s great new hope for goals.
On being in Russia
I’ve been in hotels, on the pitch and in cars so I’ve haven’t had the opportunity to really experience it. I can say that the football pitches have been of a very high quality and will be perfect for playing football. The one thing I have had the opportunity to see is the Cristiano Ronaldo mural. It’s spectacular.
On the desire to win this tournament
Winning the Confederations Cup is very important for us because it’s one more title, one more trophy and it’s one more competition in which we can show that we are better than other teams. I’m not saying we're favourites, far from that, but we are a very ambitious squad, and clearly we are going to win.
— Welcome2018·com (@welcome_2018) June 14, 2017
On what makes the current team so special
Sincerely speaking it's our unity. Knowing that I can trust the players around me. That the guy next to me will do everything for me, and that I will do everything for him, and that we are not going to give up until the very end.
On having Ronaldo as his captain
When I was little I used to dream of playing next to Ronaldo. Everyone respects him because he managed to earn everyone’s respect, as the best in the world. Having him as our captain is something special for us and we follow him.
On the Silva-Ronaldo goalscoring partnership (17 goals combined in five games)
I think the strength in our partnership on the pitch is understanding. I know the things I have to do. Ronaldo knows what he has to do. The result of our understanding has been seen with the goals. And I hope that it continues. I’m sure we won’t always play together, but when we do let’s hope this continues.
On Ronaldo’s belief in him
He hasn’t said it to me directly but I feel very proud to hear him say good things about me in the press. It’s very special for me to hear my captain speak about me like that. I feel very happy. I hope that I can live up to what Ronaldo thinks of me.
— André Silva (@andrevsilva19) December 12, 2016
On facing Mexico
We’ve been studying Mexico. What we expect is to win. What happens in the match, we will see. What I do know for certain is that we will give it everything from the first minute until the last to try and win.
On tactics for Mexico
If Portugal has some surprises, I wouldn’t be able to tell you!
On being a small nation producing great players consistently
Sincerely, I think it’s down to the heart of the players and the will and desire that we show. We have proved that the size of our nation doesn’t matter and that we are capable of massive feats.
On what it will take to win the Confederations Cup
Winning this tournament, we have to enter into each game like its our last. To focus purely on the match in front of us and to trust in one another. That’s what it will take.
On Portugal’s legacy
Everyone that has passed through the Seleção has wanted this. It’s down to a lot of hard work, dedication and unity that we have achieved things of late. I think we need to focus on this and hope that at the end we are here smiling.