Central dos “gones” has his roots in Vila Nova de Famalicão and is preparing to face the club his father made him love.
The village of Oliveira de Santa Maria, of just over 3,400 inhabitants, which calls itself “one of the strongest cultural arms of Portugal”, will see, on Wednesday, the descendant of one of its emigrants in France on the lawn of the Dragon to face FC Porto.
Damien da Silva was born in Talence, in the Bordeaux region, in 1988, but most of his youthful summer holidays were spent in this town of Vila Nova de Famalicão, where his father, married to a French woman, cultivated a passion for blues and white. . .
“FC Porto is a very special club for me. My father is a big fan of the club,” said the 33-year-old central defender in an interview with the Lyon television channel, in which he talks about the affectionate relationship he has created with the dragons. “I have a family who live in a small village 25 minutes from Porto. It’s a special game. [do FC Porto] when I was younger and still am, but a little less so. I watch the matches, but less than before,” he said.
Playing in the stadium of the team he has come to love will therefore be a “huge” experience for Damien and a unique feeling for his father. “I think my father will support me, that is to say it will be for Lyon”, jokes the defender, who arrived this season in the “gones”, from Rennes. “I dare to have this hope,” he jokes.
But the whole Silva family does not share the tastes of Damien’s father. Therefore, the player knows he will have extra support on Wednesday. “I have an uncle who is from Benfica and another from Sporting. My grandfather was from Sporting. When we argue a little, it’s funny,” he explains. “As my father is a fan of FC Porto, I followed him. My cousins are fans of the same club as their parents, so it’s funny. Those who are from Benfica or Sporting will be for Lyon, that’s sure. Even more so because I’ll be there,” perspective.
Born in the Bordeaux region, it was at the Girondin club that he did a large part of his training. His professional career took off with the modest Chamois Niortais, but he continued to rise. From there, he moved to Châteauroux, followed by Rouen and Clermont until he reached Caen, which earned him his Ligue 1 debut at the age of 26. His first match in the Europa League came at the age of 30, when he moved to Rennes, which also opened the doors to the Champions League, at 32.
The summit came late, but Damien always dreamed of representing the country where his father was born, after playing in the France under-19 team. And said it more than once. “HIS [um sonho] hard to achieve, but never give up. If it has to happen, then it will happen and I will be very happy about it”, he said, a little over a year ago, in statements to the newspaper “Ouest France”.
After this time, the wish remains unfulfilled. Who knows if his return to Portugal will make Damien da Silva capture Fernando Santos’ attention.