Toni Silva explains decision to join Mamelodi Sundowns from Europe
Posted: 3 July 2018 Time: 20:30
Mamelodi Sundowns’ new recruit Toni Silva has shed some light on his decision to move to South Africa after what seemed to have been a promising career in England.
The Guinea-Bissau international penned a five-year deal with The Brazilians, ending an 11-year stay in Europe, where he played for Benfica, Liverpool and Portugal at youth level.
Silva was on the rise after moving from Portugal to England in 2009, but fell short of a first team opportunity at The Reds, before moving on to Barnsley and later ending up in Greece.
The 24-year-old right-winger has explained what happened between his time trialling with Chelsea and his failed stint at the Merseyside giants.
“I was in England for five years, I played at two teams. I was at Chelsea and then Liverpool, where I spent three years. I was in the second team and never got a chance to make it to the first team,” Silva tells KickOff.com.
“But I used to train with the first team, and because I never got a chance to play with the first team I decided to leave. You know, England is England – you know the story [it’s tough to play there].”
Despite his impressive youth history, Silva, who was born in Bissau, says Sundowns’ persistent attempts at luring him to the PSL ultimately convinced him to return to Africa.
“I did have offers and interest, to be honest. But I decided to come to South Africa just to try different things, on a different continent also,” he adds.
“I was raised in Europe for most of my life, I lived there for about 17 or 18 years, and now I decided to come to Sundowns because this was not the first time they tried to sign me – they’ve been trying to sign me since two years ago.
“So, because they didn’t stop and kept banging, banging [on the door] and I finally decided to take the offer and now I’m here.”
Having linked up with his new teammates for pre-season two weeks ago, the lanky attacker has offered some insight into his experience at Chloorkop thus far.
“It’s been nice. Everything’s cool and there are good people here, and I’m just taking it step-by-step and day-by-day, so I’ll get there. But, at the moment, everything has been fine. I’m happy with everybody and things are pretty easy and simple,” he concludes.