FIVE-A-SIDE | Pedro Santos's picks

five a side - santos

We asked midfielder Pedro Santosto pick his own five-a-side team consisting of players he's either played with or against during his career, including one current or former Crew SC teammate.

Ederson (Goalkeeper, Manchester City)

Background: The two share some competitive experience during their time in the Primeira Liga, the top Portuguese league, in addition to a friendship off the field.

Pedro's Explanation: "I played with him in 2014 at Rio Ave, a Portuguese club. Then I played against him after I left there when I joined Braga. I chose him because I think he is one of the best goalkeepers currently. Also, he’s my friend and I like how he plays."

Nani (Midfielder, Orlando City)

Background: Perhaps some bias, Pedro admits, but there's no doubt Nani is on a shortlist for best Portuguese players of his generation.

Pedro's Explanation: "I played against him when he was in Sporting CP. To me he is one of the best Portuguese players and for me it was an honor to play against him. Also, I chose him because he’s Portuguese [laughs].

"He is very strong in one-on-ones, he plays well with both feet and you can never predict what he is going to do. That’s why he is a great player."

Andrea Pirlo (Midfielder, Retired)

Background: Santos crossed paths with Pirlo during the Italian's tenure with New York City FC, but of course, Santos's idling of him dates back to his most notable days with A.C. Milan throughout the 2000s. 

Pedro's Explanation: "I chose Pirlo because he is a player that I used to love watching when he played in Italy, so for me it was a big pleasure to be able to play against him here [in MLS]."

Gyasi Zardes (Forward, Crew SC)

Background: Santos and Zardes have played together since Zardes came to the Crew two years ago, with Santos notching four assists (including secondary assists) for Zardes since the start of 2018.

Pedro's Explanation: "Gyasi is one of the best strikers in the League and I think he can get even better. For me, it’s a pleasure to be able to play with him and help him get better."

Wayne Rooney (Forward, Derby County)

Background: The pair faced off twice during the regular season in 2019, as Rooney's D.C. United side got the best of Columbus, though we know the story when it came to the 2018 MLS Cup Playoffs.

Pedro's Explanation: "I chose Rooney for the same reasons as Pirlo. He was a player who was the image of England and for me it’s a great pleasure to be able to play against that type of player. He is a player who does things that aren’t normal and for me it was very gratifying to play against him."

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