Rui Silva, the pride of PortoArticle
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FEATURE: The Portuguese centre back has extended his contract and heads into his seventh season with the club

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After five years in Lisbon at Sporting CP, Rui Silva moved to domestic league rivals FC Porto for the 2015/16 season. The centre back, now 28, has just renewed his contract with the club until 2025 and is ready to head into his seventh season with the Portuguese champions.

With both parents playing handball, his passion for the sport evolved naturally. Rui Silva is hugely talented and has an above-average intelligence for handball.

Last season, the blue-and-white team became the unbeaten Portuguese champions and they reached the play-offs in the EHF Champions League, where they only lost on the away-goal rule to eventual finalists Aalborg Håndbold. Now Rui Silva wants to help the club to be even more successful.

“Playing in the Champions League is fulfilling a dream, reaching the highest level of clubs and being able to face the best athletes in the world and players we admire,” Rui Silva said.

In Porto’s dressing room, he sits next to António Areia, with whom he has a “very close and friendly relationship.” Rui Silva describes himself as a “discreet” person in a very strong group. “We created a friendly relationship between us. We are very close to each other and that makes everything easier,” he said.

Rui Silva has produced the goods not just for Porto, but also for the Portuguese national team. In Olympic qualifying in March, he scored the winner against France in the closing seconds, a result that helped Portugal edge Croatia in the fight for a Tokyo 2021 ticket. At the Olympics, Portugal just failed to advance from their group.

“Portugal spent some very difficult years in handball, but fortunately I managed to belong to this incredible group that took Portuguese handball to the highest level. I feel that now the Portuguese people are proud and admire our handball,” said Rui Silva.

Always positive and focused, and with a tattoo on his right arm commemorating the late Alfredo Quintana, Rui Silva is one of the players to watch when the EHF Champions League resumes in September.

TEXT: Tiago