In Portugal, they thought they had bred another Jose Mourinho, if not stylistically, in terms of talent, stature and promise.
Now, after Marco Silva's very short stay in Hull City and his release in Watford last season, they're waiting to see if they were right or had gone to court.
In Everton, they now believe they have a longtime manager, a coach with the strategy and energy to lead an ambitious club into a better future. It depends on Goodison.
Marco Silva wants to prove he can win for the Premier League team Everton
Silva is not a big man and not immediately impressive. His habit of standing slightly bent, his hands deep in his pockets, causes him to take another inch from him. But it also gives him a semblance of humility, accessibility and normalcy.
His former players say this is one of his greatest assets – Silva's ability to connect with, contact, and lead.
"He has an aura about him," said Ryan Mason, who played for Hull. "But he's building strong relationships with players, he's fantastic."
Silva also wins things. At least in the years before he arrived in England two winters ago. In the small Estoril – average attendance of 2,275 – his greatest triumph was the promotion to the top league of Portugal. The fifth place in the Primeira League followed and then the fourth place when Estoril traveled to the Europa League.
Think of Rotherham in Europe and you may be close.
At Sporting it was then a Portuguese Cup. At Olympiacos a league title and 17 wins in a row, a record in Greece.
Yes, Everton has hired a winner. Not here, not in England, not yet. That may take time. But still a winner. Marco Silva was an ordinary footballer, but it would be a surprise if he turns out to be the usual football manager.
Silva was compared with his counterpart and compatriot Jose Mourinho
Silva will strive to have his key players under control to win Silverware with Everton
There is a time in life when you have to stop moving and maybe Silva has reached it.
He is only 41 years old, but has already experienced a wandering life. The Everton manager insists it's a fact, not an intent that will make him sixth job in just seven years. And now the task on Merseyside requires patience and a clear vision.
This is not a job where he can win quickly and then move on. Silva insists he is ready.
"When I talked to the owner, we agreed that we have a long project here, and we need to do it step by step," says Silva. "We have to build a club to be competitive in the long term.
"I want to achieve important things here and, of course, win. I have only one way to work, and that is 100% focus and commitment. That's what drives me and I want you to understand that I was like that in my other clubs too.
Of course, I understand what you say. In recent years, I have not stayed in a club for more than a year. But when I started as a manager (at Estoril), I was there for three years and we did amazing things. It was a project. I want to do that here. "
Everton feels like a club that needs a fresh start and some stability. Twice since the David Moyes era, they threatened Roberto Martinez and then Ronald Koeman.
Jordan Pickford is one of those key players that Silva hopes will make Everton fame
But with a new stadium and an owner who is not afraid to buy, it feels like the time has to be right now. The top clubs in the Premier League do not look like they are in the mood to look around, so fur tails have to be packed. Silva knows that and stresses that culture needs to change in the club.
First of all, Everton has to stop selling his best players. "In recent years, the players have done well here and then sold to Manchester United and City," Silva shrugs. "That can not happen anymore. If we keep them, we will become stronger. That's what other clubs do and look at them now.
"Of course the money is important, but it's not just the yes, we have to pay the salaries that other clubs can pay for, players need to feel valued.
"But when the club sold Romelu Lukaku to United, it was not about money. I was not here, but I know about it. It's about having the right conditions here, creating something that helps us achieve something. If not, big clubs will welcome our best players again. "
Silva's first job in England was at Hull. He arrived in January 2017 with the club at the foot of the Premier League. It seemed like an impossible job and they went under. In short, a miracle seemed possible.
Silva drew Hull from the last three, but a home defeat to Sunderland slowed down and the outstanding player on that day was goalkeeper Jordan Pickford.
"He saved every shot and until that conversation I forgot it," smiles Silva. "I think I have to remind him."
At Olympiacos Silva led the Greek giants to 17 victories in a row – a record in Greece
Pickford, 24, is now Everton's goalkeeper. He is one of many young players in the club who seem to have a bright future. Some are at home, some are not, but regardless of their background, Silva appreciates that he is committed to them.
"You have to show the passion to play for us, and then I have to be passionate about getting them into the squad," he nods. "I do not want them giving up because they are not playing for three months, this is a process, it's something we've tried to explain to Ademola Lookman in the last market.
"It's easy to understand what a very good offer he had (from RB Leipzig), but we've done everything possible to keep him, because he has the ability to be big, and I want this to be here . " Everton has not won a cup since 1995. At that time, Silva was not long out of school in Lisbon. Now, across Stanley Park, the red power of Liverpool seems to be rising, and its neighbors can not ignore it. So there is impatience.
Silva, sitting at a desk on Everton's training ground, knows that "long-term" will not wash without noticeable progress. He brought six players in the summer, but his team still looks a bit awkward. For example, Lukaku was still not replaced.
"I have the ambition to win, and you always have to use it to drive you," he says.
"When you're in such a club and you understand the story, you have to be ready to give them what they expect. The followers are hungry and it is a good pressure. They want it tomorrow, but they have to be patient.
"We have changed many things. New manager and new football structure, new players who need to understand me and understand the club. I can not change everything in three months. I know that a manager does not have the time to look long term. You must support everything with results.
"But if we continue to do what we do in the background, provide players with something new every day, and develop the squad, we will achieve what I want. I want to win titles here. It's not easy, but I want to do something important. "
However, he was unable to channel Hull into the safety of the Premier League during the 2016/17 campaign
Results are important in football, but also other things. Everton has always understood that. The day that Silva confesses to his first long interview when Everton's manager finds him in the hallway of the club's Finch Farm training complex.
Around him exists what in the best way seems to be a form of organized chaos. Everton in the community is now in its 30th year, reaching more than 1,200 teenagers annually. This is one of the outstanding events.
Silva and football's club director, Marcel Brands, insisted that every player in the first team be present. Here they are all there, as more than 60 children and young adults from different backgrounds meet the team of Everton.
The manager goes from station to station and observes z. For example, how Leighton Baines addresses a group with mental health issues and how the young Lookman conducts a skill session. Silva herself met members of the charity's Down syndrome team.
"I told the board the first day that I would give them everything they need with such things," says Silva. "We know what's the big thing in the club. Do our job well and win things.
"But you have to understand what kind of club you work for, and this day helps me to understand Everton. Watching the children smile is always worth an hour or two of our day. Without that we are not much, right? "
Silva's own background was relatively modest and maybe that helps. Or maybe because he's the father of two daughters. Or maybe it's all irrelevant.
Silvas Toffees has done charitable work with the "Everton in the Community".
Some footballers are at home in this environment, others are not.
What we know from Silva's time in Portugal is that he never had any trouble connecting with people, with players and supporters. His career as a player, he spent directly at a number of Portuguese clubs.
"I was average," he smiles. "I was mainly in the Portuguese second division, maybe four or five games in the first division, and to be honest, you can not even compare my level here with the first league, maybe the second league."
Ultimately, the tiny Estoril on the Portuguese Riviera was to become a home. The coastal city is Flash, but not the football club.
Silva played 121 league games over six seasons due to knee problems, but his first notable contribution came in 2009, when he persuaded his teammates not to strike over unpaid wages.
"It was a crisis, yes," he says. "I was a captain, so I had to do something, I knew a solution would come, a new owner, some left, but the rest of us stopped and struggled with everything we had."
Two years later, Silva, after she retired at the age of 33, was appointed director of football. Within a few weeks, with Estoril near the foot of Division Two, Silva became coach. The club won the league. "As a 26-year-old player, I had tried to understand why I did certain things and why the coach told me to do certain things," says Silva.
"I started to see myself as a coach, I thought of my life, I knew I was an average player and that would not change, so what should I do? Stay average no.
Seamus Coleman and Andre Gomes play football at the charity event at Finch Farm
"At some point in your life, you need to get up and get ready to do something, and I've decided to do something to train my desire.
"I took the first two levels of the badges, and when Estoril invited me to the coach after seven or eight games, I was ready. We were champions this season. Then it was fifth and fourth in the major league. For Estoril, fourth place is the equivalent of winning the title. It really is. It was wonderful.
"Every time I remember what we achieved, Incredible.
"After that, I won trophies at Sporting and Olympiacos and broke many, many records in Greece. That was really important. But I can not say what my best season as a coach is. I think that will come in the future. "
At home in Portugal one wonders if Silva can only be derailed by the extent of his own ambition.
He left Olympiacos for a year for a two-year jobless deal to go to, and his failure to start the good start to the season at Watford is largely due to his keen interest in the Everton job.
But it was the ambition, the impatience, and the confidence that led him first and foremost to England. Maybe we do not have it in both directions.
"I took a big risk to come to Hull, I have to be honest," he says. "But I loved it there, I really did. Great club and great people.
Everton will face Brighton at Goodison Park in the Premier League on Saturday afternoon
"I could have waited, but I really wanted to come to England and show my work. So I did. & # 39;
It feels like a club like Everton may have always been the target for Silva.
When he arrived in England, we were curious, and he has not forgotten.
"If you do it well, you will change the minds of people whose job it is to talk about football," he says.
"I have only one way to do my job, and that is
"One of my goals was to play and I achieved that. Now at Everton I always want more.
"All I can say is that I hope I'm a better coach than I was a player."
Marco Silva and his team supported Everton in the community at an event that showcases the life-altering and life-saving work of the charity in its 30-year year. Visit www.evertonfc.com/community