RB Leipzig striker Andre Silva has named Cristiano Ronaldo in his 5-a-side team of players he has been teammates with over the course of his career so far. The Portuguese striker has 49 national team caps to his name since making his debut in 2016 and has played alongside Ronaldo numerous times for Fernando Santos.
When quizzed by Sportskeeda on his dream 5-a-side team, including himself, the 26-year-old named Cristiano Ronaldo, Pepe, Bernardo Silva and Iker Casillas after much deliberation.
Andre Silva has already turned out for FC Porto, AC Milan, Sevilla, Eintracht Frankfurt and RB Leipzig in his young career so far and has also been a regular member of the Portugal squad over the years. Having played in multiple top leagues across Europe, his best football came with Frankfurt last season as he scored 28 league goals and earned himself a move to Leipzig.
Silva was quick to point out that his maturity has helped him become a consistent goalscorer in the German top-flight.
"The biggest difference for me is the age and experience that I have now. Everything is a process and I have my own way. The bigger I get, the more I can understand myself and the more I know what I'm able to do. I'm really lucky to play in the Bundesliga at this time and the Bundesliga is lucky to have me."
Silva also shed light on what it's like to play alongside Cristiano Ronaldo, who he described as his idol.
"I was young when Cristiano Ronaldo was making his own path to becoming one of the best players in the world. All the Portuguese kids idolized him and I'm one of them. When I was young, I watched him play for Manchester United and it became a dream for me to play alongside him. In the national team, I finally had the chance"
"When I started playing with him in the national team and got close to him, I got the chance to get to know him better and get tips from him."
"I remember one thing that we spoke about was the free-kicks that were were taking in training. He told me a little bit to change my position a little bit and always tried to help me in my growth."
Andre Silva and Cristiano Ronaldo could be crucial to Portugal's World Cup qualification hopes
Portugal failed to secure automatic qualification for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar after their shock 2-1 defeat to Serbia in November 2021. However, Fernando Santos and co have a chance to make amends in the playoffs as they prepare to face Turkey in March.
Despite acknowledging that the situation isn't ideal, Andre Silva affirmed that Portugal would do everything they can to secure qualification.
"In Portugal, in the national team, we have two games to try and make it through to the World Cup. It was not the situation we desired, but now we have the opportunity to achieve this goal. We are totally focussed and in March, we'll give 100%."
"The chance is still there and we want to progress. Unfortunately, we have to go to the playoffs to try to go to the World Cup, but we have a chance and we'll do everything we can to qualify."
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