17 Questions

17 Questions with Xande Silva

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It was a busy summer transfer window for Atlanta United. Entering as one of four new additions, winger Xande Silva signed with the 5-Stripes on loan from French side Dijon for the remainder of the 2023 season with an option to purchase.

We sat down with the 26-year-old from Portugal, and he answered 17 questions to help our 17s get to know him better.

Before we get into the questions, how do you pronounce your name?

SHAHN-de Silva

Now, what made you choose Atlanta United?

Everyone knows Atlanta United in Europe. For us, it’s a big team, and I know in America, it’s a big team, as well. So, it was an easy choice.

How are you feeling now that you’re here?

I haven’t done anything special yet, but I know for sure, soon, we’re going to be doing some fun stuff.

What got you into playing soccer?

My father used to play football. Sorry, “soccer.” All my family is into soccer. And my friends, when I was younger, we used to play soccer, as well.

What’s your relationship like now with your family?

I lost my parents when I was young. Since then, I’ve been living with my little sister. I’ve been taking care of her and my son, as well. He’s one year old, going to turn two in September.

What has life been like since becoming a dad?

It’s different, you know? I think when you become a father, I feel like you really have something that’s yours. It changes your life. You grow up faster, but it’s good. It’s a responsibility.

What was your life like growing up in Portugal?

Portugal reminds me a bit of Africa, but even more beautiful. When I was young, I used to go out every morning, come back home at night. My mom used to be looking for me everywhere, me and my friends. I miss those times.

What was your experience like playing internationally with Portugal’s youth teams?

It was good. It’s always a good experience because you meet different players and different teams. Even if you know them, you get to play against them and get to know them better. And it’s a whole different experience to play in another country.

Do you have any nicknames?

Xande is a nickname because my real name is Alexandre. Nothing else besides that. Now, my friends, they call me “Defaya.” It’s from a song. It was my favorite song, so I’m always singing it, and then they just started calling me “Defaya.”

What’s your pregame ritual?

I just take my Airpods and listen to amapiano, from South Africa. It’s my favorite kind of music. It’s nice, kind of like drums and everything, it’s different. Listen to it, you’ll like it.

Do you have a favorite TV show?

I just finished Wu-Tang: An American Saga, but my favorite is maybe Snowfall or Power. Everyone watches Power in Portugal and France.

Favorite movie?

Planet of the Apes. I’ve got Caesar right here (tattooed on my forearm).

What are some of your other tattoos?

I’ve got my family—my mom, my dad, my sister—their initials. The phrase “I will never lose." I’ve got a wolf. I’ve got two stars on my shoulders. I’ve got a cross on my chest because I’m Catholic, and I have a couple more.

How would you describe yourself in three words?

Simple. Loyal. Friend.

Now, describe your playing style.

Fast and technical.

If you weren’t a soccer player, what would you be?

Maybe a sports agent or a coach.

What inspires you to give your best on the pitch?

My son and my family.

What are you looking forward to during the rest of the season?

With the team, I want to achieve our goals. Individually, I’ll have to think about that. It’s too early. Give me a few weeks. But I think the most important thing is to be happy. I think when you’re happy, you can achieve anything you want.

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