Ricardo with Betis in 2009
|Full name||Ricardo Alexandre Martins S. Pereira|
|Date of birth||11 February 1976|
|Place of birth||Montijo, Portugal|
|Height||1.85 m (6 ft 1 in)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 00:00, 30 October 2012 (UTC).
† Appearances (Goals).
Ricardo Alexandre Martins Soares Pereira, OIH (Portuguese pronunciation: [ʁiˈkaɾdu]; born 11 February 1976), simply Ricardo, is a Portuguese professional footballer who plays for S.C. Olhanense as a goalkeeper.
He spent most of his career with Boavista and Sporting, helping the former to its only Primeira Liga title and appearing with the latter in more than 150 official games, winning one Portuguese Cup. In his 30s he moved abroad, representing mainly Real Betis.
Born in Montijo, Setúbal, Ricardo started his career at hometown club Clube Desportivo do Montijo, signing with Boavista F.C. in 1994. After battling during several seasons for first-choice status with Cameroonian William Andem, he eventually became first-choice, and appeared in 28 matches in the Chequereds 2000–01 league championship title, the club history's only.
He then went on to play for Sporting Clube de Portugal, joining for a fee of €7 million and 20% from the value of any future transfer. An undisputed starter from the get-go, he backstopped the team to the final of the 2004–05 UEFA Cup, a 1–3 home loss against PFC CSKA Moscow (the match was played at the Alvalade XXI Stadium).
On 9 July 2007 Ricardo was linked with a transfer to La Liga side Real Betis and, two days later, he signed a four-year contract with the club. His league debut took place against Recreativo de Huelva on 26 August, a 1–1 away draw. Having started the league campaign as first-choice, he eventually lost the position to former Betis trainee Casto, but would regain his status for two of the last three matches, as the side from Andalusia avoided relegation.
In 2008–09, as Betis manager Francisco Chaparro, who arrived midway through the previous season, started on the bench, Ricardo lost the battle for first-choice, having to settle with Copa del Rey matches, a situation which would revert midway through the season, with Betis eventually relegated; the following season, he backed-up Iñaki Goitia, playing no matches in an eventual fourth place in the league (no promotion).
Ricardo was not given any jersey number for the 2010–11 season, being limited to training with the Pepe Mel-led squad, and later released from his contract in January 2011 – it was due to expire in June of that year.
Leicester City / Later years
Ricardo started training with Football League Championship club Leicester City, and joined the team on 31 January 2011, signing until the end of the season, and citing manager Sven-Göran Eriksson as his motivation for joining the club. He made his official debut on 12 February, in a 2–0 win over Derby County at Pride Park Stadium.
Ricardo made his international debut in 2001 against the Republic of Ireland, taking the place of Vítor Baía who was recovering from a serious knee injury. However, he would be his backup in the 2002 FIFA World Cup.
In the quarterfinals of UEFA Euro 2004 against England, Ricardo was one of Portugal's heroes in their win on penalties. With a 5–5 tie, he first saved the shot of Darius Vassell, after taking his gloves off, and then scored the deciding penalty to send Portugal to the semi-finals.
Nevertheless, Ricardo did not manage to help his team avoid the loss to Greece in the final match. Ricardo misjudged a corner when coming for the ball, only for Angelos Charisteas to head the only goal of the game, in a huge upset in final defeat.
2006 World Cup
In the 2006 FIFA World Cup group stage, Ricardo kept two clean sheets and was only beaten once, by Mexico's Francisco Fonseca, as Portugal won all three matches. The national side once again knocked out England in the quarter-finals of a major tournament on penalties, as he saved from Frank Lampard, Steven Gerrard and Jamie Carragher, in a 3–1 shootout win after a 0–0 draw with extra time, becoming the first keeper to save three times in a World Cup shootout. Carragher did beat Ricardo but since his kick was made before the referee blew the whistle, the Englishman had to retry the spot kick which was then saved.
In the third-place match against hosts Germany, Ricardo allowed three goals, two by Bastian Schweinsteiger, and an own goal by Portugal's Petit, which also resulted from Schweinsteiger's shot. He was named to the tournament All-Star team, as one of the three best goalkeepers.
Despite some criticism, Ricardo remained the main goalkeeper for Portugal in Euro 2008. Portugal struggled initially but did qualify for the quarter-finals, and he played all of the side's matches, as Portugal was eliminated by Germany 3–2 in the quarter-finals, where he misjudged in two box exits, allowing two headers. As he lost his position at Betis, Ricardo would not be called for the 2010 World Cup qualifiers, with Benfica's Quim being made the starter (although he would be also later replaced by Eduardo).
|Club performance||League||Cup||League Cup||Continental||Total|
|Portugal||League||Taça de Portugal||Taça da Liga||Europe||Total|
|Spain||League||Copa del Rey||Supercopa de España||Europe||Total|
- Ricardo's derby dream; UEFA, 21 March 2003
- "Comunicado (facto relevante)" [Announcement (relevant fact)] (in Portuguese). CMVM. 21 July 2003. Retrieved 9 November 2010.
- "Resurgent Betis secure double coup". UEFA. 14 July 2007. Retrieved 13 January 2011.
- "Portuguese keeper Ricardo trains with Leicester City". BBC Sport. 28 January 2011. Retrieved 28 January 2011.
- "Leicester City snap up former Portugal keeper Ricardo". BBC Sport. 31 January 2011. Retrieved 1 February 2011.
- "Leicester City's Ricardo proud to play for Eriksson". BBC Sport. 15 February 2011. Retrieved 16 February 2011.
- "Derby 0–2 Leicester". BBC Sport. 12 February 2011. Retrieved 13 February 2011.
- "Ricardo among ten to leave". Leicester City FC. 21 May 2011. Retrieved 21 May 2011.
- Portugal break England hearts; BBC Sport, 24 June 2004
- Portugal revels in Ricardo heroics; UEFA, 2 July 2006
- Schweinsteiger starts German party; UEFA, 8 July 2006
- Euro 2008: German power leaves Portugal in despair; The Daily Telegraph, 20 June 2008
- "Selecção distinguida pelo Duque de Bragança" [National team honoured by Duke of Bragança] (in Portuguese). Cristiano Ronaldo News. 30 August 2006. Retrieved 30 August 2006.
- FootballDatabase profile and stats
- Ricardo at footballzz.co.uk
- Stats at ForaDeJogo
- PortuGOAL profile
- BDFutbol profile
- Ricardo career stats at Soccerbase
- Ricardo at National-Football-Teams.com