Ribeiro with Wales U21 in 2008
|Full name||Christian Michael Ribeiro|
|Date of birth||14 December 1989|
|Place of birth||Neath, Wales|
|Height||1.81 m (5 ft 11 1⁄2 in)|
|2009||→ Stockport County (loan)||7||(0)|
|2010||→ Colchester United (loan)||2||(0)|
|2011–2012||→ Carlisle United (loan)||5||(0)|
|2012||→ Scunthorpe United (loan)||10||(0)|
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 02:38, 29 June 2016 (UTC).
He began his career at Bristol City, and turned down a move to Everton in order to make his professional debut for the club in 2008, suffering an injury in the first half that ruled him out for 11 months. He had loans at Stockport County, Colchester United, Carlisle United and Scunthorpe United before moving permanently to the latter in 2012. In his two seasons as a Scunthorpe player, the team were relegated from, and promoted back to, League One. He then represented Exeter City, and two years later moved to Oxford United.
Born in Wales and raised in England, Ribeiro won 20 caps and scored two goals for his birth country at youth level. In 2010, he played twice for the Welsh senior team, alongside several players who went on to reach the semi-finals at UEFA Euro 2016.
Ribeiro was born in Neath in South Wales, and at the age of 6 moved to Berkeley, Gloucestershire, and then onto Ruscombe near Stroud in his teenage years. He attended Marling School. His father coached his youth team Wanswell Wanderers. Ribeiro's surname comes from his paternal Portuguese heritage.
Ribeiro came through the youth system at Bristol City before earning his first professional contract, lasting two and a half years, with the club in December 2006. His first team debut came nearly two years later in a 2–1 win over Peterborough United in the Football League Cup first round on 12 August 2008, but he was replaced after just 34 minutes after damaging his anterior cruciate ligament; the game at Ashton Gate finished 2–1 to City. The injury kept him out until next July.
Prior to his injury, he was linked with a move to Premier League side Everton, whose manager David Moyes was to offer £750,000 for his signature. Ribeiro quickly dismissed the approach by stating: "I felt I had a better chance of playing at Bristol City and I was proved right because I got into the first team, it just so happened that was when I got injured." He reflected in 2011 "I can see friends playing in the Premier League and the Championship week-in, week-out, and if only I hadn’t had those injuries then I might be doing the same. But you can’t go back. I’m very driven and ambitious and if I want to get there I just have to give 100 per cent in everything and show people what I can do".
Having made just one appearance during the 2009–10 season due to another injury sustained while international duty, Ribeiro was allowed to join Football League One side Stockport County on a one-month loan deal with a 24-hour recall clause. He made his Football League and Stockport debut in a 3–1 home defeat to Exeter City later that day. After a month, he decided to extend his loan period to 9 January 2010. However, at the end of December, manager Gary Johnson opted to exercise the recall clause following an injury and suspension crisis that saw Lewin Nyatanga, Jamie McCombe and Brian Wilson unavailable.
The following January, he went on loan again in League One, to Colchester United, until a groin injury ended his spell. Ribeiro made his league debut for Bristol City in a 2–2 home draw with Newcastle United on 20 March 2010.
On 2 November 2011, Ribeiro was loaned to Carlisle United of League One for the remainder of the calendar year, as a replacement for the injured Frank Simek and James Tavernier who was to return to Newcastle United. In May 2012, Ribeiro was released by Bristol City after learning that his contract would not be renewed.
On 11 January 2012, Ribeiro was loaned to Scunthorpe United for two months. Following on from his 10-game loan deal, he signed a two-year contract with the option of a third on 9 July 2012, joining at the same time as Mike Grella.
He scored the first goal of his professional career on 17 November, opening a 2–2 draw against Notts County at Glanford Park, curling the ball after a one-two with Mark Duffy. Ribeiro's only other goal for Scunthorpe came on 15 December in a 3–1 win at Leyton Orient, again scoring the first goal of the game and again assisted by Duffy.
The club announced on 8 May 2014 that he would be released at the end of the season, despite playing 21 games as they won promotion back to League One.
On 21 August 2014, Ribeiro signed for League Two side Exeter City after a successful pre-season trial. The club were under a transfer embargo due to financial issues and Ribeiro was carrying an injury which was likely to remain until September.
He made his debut for the club on 6 September, starting in a 1–2 home defeat to Mansfield Town at St James Park. On 11 October he scored his first goal for Exeter, a headed consolation in another home loss by the same score against Hartlepool United; a second came on 6 December as a late equaliser for a 1–1 draw against Burton Albion.
On 14 June 2015, Ribeiro signed a new contract with Exeter, despite reported interest from Championship side Birmingham City and League One sides Swindon Town and Shrewsbury Town. He scored a career-best four goals in 35 games over the campaign, including late winners in home games against Hartlepool United on 12 September, and Accrington Stanley on 23 January. His contract expired in May 2016, and he was not offered a new one.
Ribeiro played at various youth levels for Wales. On 24 September 2005, he scored a 25-yard goal for the under-17 team in their 2–0 qualifying win over Estonia in Rhyl. He took part in the under-19 squad that played in the Milk Cup in 2007. On 12 November 2007 he was called up for the under-21 team for the matches against Bosnia and Herzegovina and France. Ribeiro scored once for the under-21 team, opening a 2–1 win over Italy on 4 September 2009, in a European qualifier at the Liberty Stadium.
He was first called up to the senior squad for the 2010 World Cup qualifier against Russia later that month, calling his selection by John Toshack a "fantastic reward" that was deserved due to his battles with injury and adding that he would learn by training against other Welsh internationals like Craig Bellamy. Ribeiro made his debut on 23 May 2010 against Croatia at the Gradski vrt stadium, Osijek, replacing Chris Gunter for the last nine minutes of a 2–0 loss. He was the last of five Welshmen to make their debut that day, and was tasked with marking Luka Modrić, but suffered a slipped spinal disc which ruled him out again. On 12 October, he earned his only other cap as Wales fell 4–1 away to Switzerland in a UEFA Euro 2012 qualifying match, replacing Darcy Blake after 55 minutes. He fouled Tranquillo Barnetta for a penalty which Gökhan Inler scored.
Despite the brevity of his international career, Ribeiro expressed pride in 2016 that he had played alongside players who took Wales to the semi-finals at that year's European Championship, among them Gareth Bale and Aaron Ramsey.
- As of match played 7 May 2016
|Club||Season||League||FA Cup||League Cup||Other[a]||Total|
|Stockport County (loan)||2009–10||League One||7||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||7||0|
|Colchester United (loan)||2009–10||League One||2||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||2||0|
|Carlisle United (loan)||2011–12||League One||5||0||2||0||0||0||0||0||7||0|
|Scunthorpe United (loan)||2011–12||League One||10||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||10||0|
|Scunthorpe United||2012–13||League One||28||2||1||0||2||0||1||0||32||2|
|Exeter City||2014–15||League Two||37||2||1||0||0||0||1||0||39||2|
- Includes Football League Trophy matches.
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