From empty stadiums to freak results, this season has been the strangest one for years. New protagonists are forming, too, in Erling Haaland and Kylian Mbappe as Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi take a sidestep out of the limelight. Yet, that very same spotlight that has been shined on the aforementioned players has failed to glimmer onto the man outperforming Erling Haaland in the Bundesliga: Andre Silva.
The former AC Milan flop arrived at Frankfurt as a player looking to find his best form. Many were quick to mock the Bundesliga team’s side of the deal as they waved goodbye to Ante Rebic in return for Silva. Yet, almost a year on, and the forward has proved those doubters wrong.
In contrasting fashion to how many believed the deal would turn out, it’s Silva who has progressed. The Portuguese international has just hit the 22 goal mark with the winner against Borussia Dortmund. Meanwhile, at the other end of the deal, Ante Rebic has just five in the Serie A.
Andre Silva: Outperforming Some of the Bundesliga’s Best
Coming Out on Top Against Dortmund
As alluded to before, this season is the strangest one for years. For the first time, it’s not just one league that stands out for shocking moments, overachievers and underachievers, but it is every division around Europe.
West Ham United and Leicester City are battling for Europe in the Premier League whilst Liverpool sit seventh. Lille are chasing for the title up against Paris Saint-Germain. Atletico Madrid are leading the way in La Liga. And then there’s the Bundesliga.
Bayern and RB Leipzig are battling for the title, Dortmund are outside the Champions League places, Union Berlin sit seventh, and Frankfurt look on the verge of qualifying for Europe’s elite competition after defeating Dortmund.
Frankfurt now sit seven points clear with nine games remaining. The game pitted Haaland, the man in the spotlight, Andre Silva, the man who does not get his share of the headlines enough. And like all exhilarating stories, it was the plucky underdog who became the main protagonist.
Champions League football now beckons for Frankfurt. As for Silva, at 25, the only way is up from here. Only Lionel Messi, Robert Lewandowski and Cristiano Ronaldo have scored more league goals than the Frankfurt man this season.
Andre Silva: Part of an Exciting Portugal Era
Heading into the Euros as the holders, Portugal are better than ever; even stronger than when they won the competition in 2016. Before, the reliance was on Ronaldo to find the goals, the big moments, to collect the awards. Now, as he nears retirement, that reliance is gone, and that would have worried many.
But they needn’t worry. As one era closes, perhaps a better one, in terms of collective ability, is on the horizon for Portugal. Diogo Jota can’t stop scoring for both the national side and Liverpool, netting ten in 21 appearances for the club so far.
Pedro Neto, 21, Wolverhampton Wanderers’ Jota replacement, has also taken to the spotlight- impressing several on-watching fans. Then there’s Joao Felix, 21, the youngster who, when given a chance in an attacking setup, has all the potential in the world to reach the top.
We’ve already detailed Andre Silva, and that’s before we’ve mentioned Bernardo Silva, Ruben Neves and Joao Moutinho in midfield. Then there’s the backline of Ruben Dias, who has acted as Manchester City’s brick wall this season alongside the unlikely creative spark of countryman Joao Cancelo.
And, who are all these talents led by? One of the greatest players to grace the game. Cristiano Ronaldo. Prepare yourselves for the Euros and keep an eye on a Portugal side seeking to retain their title.
Embed from Getty Images