Ricardo (footballer, born 1976)
Ricardo with Betis in 2009
|Full name||Ricardo Alexandre Martins Soares 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.
He spent most of his professional 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 Betis.
Born in Montijo, Setúbal, Ricardo started his career at hometown club C.D. Montijo, signing with Boavista F.C. in 1995. After battling during several seasons for first-choice status with William Andem he eventually became first-choice, and appeared in 28 matches in the Chequereds 2000–01 conquest of the Primeira Liga championship, the club history's only.
Ricardo was one of the latter team's most influential players in their 2002–03 campaign in the UEFA Cup, in a run that would only stop in the competition's semi-finals. In the following off-season he joined Sporting Clube de Portugal, for a fee of €7 million and 20% from the value of any future transfer.
An undisputed starter from his beginnings, Ricardo backstopped the side 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 Real Betis and, two days later, he signed a four-year contract with the La Liga club. His league debut took place against Recreativo de Huelva on 26 August, a 1–1 away draw; having started the season as first-choice, he eventually lost the position to trainee Casto, but would regain his status for two of the last three games as the Andalusians avoided relegation.
In 2008–09, as 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 campaign as Betis eventually suffered relegation; the following year 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 2010–11, 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's 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 making the move. He made his official debut on 12 February, in a 2–0 win over Derby County at Pride Park Stadium.
Ricardo made his debut for the Portuguese national team on 2 June 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 quarter-finals of UEFA Euro 2004 on home soil against England, Ricardo helped Portugal win on penalties: with the score at 5–5 he first saved the shot of Darius Vassell with his gloves off, and then scored the deciding penalty. However, in the final against Greece he misjudged a corner when coming for the ball, and Angelos Charisteas headed the only goal of the game.
In the 2006 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. The country finished fourth, and 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, playing all of Portugal's matches as it was eliminated by Germany 3–2 in last-four stage, where he misjudged two clearances which led to headed goals. After he lost his position at Betis he was not called up for the 2010 World Cup qualifiers, being replaced by S.L. Benfica's Quim and later Eduardo.
- As of 10 May 2014
- Ricardo's derby dream; UEFA.com, 21 March 2003
- "Comunicado (facto relevante)" [Announcement (relevant fact)] (PDF) (in Portuguese). CMVM. 21 July 2003. Retrieved 9 November 2010.
- Resilient CSKA sink Sporting; UEFA.com, 18 May 2005
- "Resurgent Betis secure double coup". UEFA.com. 14 July 2007. Retrieved 13 January 2011.
- "Igualada a todo en el derbi andaluz" [All square in Andalusian derby] (in Spanish). El Mundo. 26 August 2007. Retrieved 23 April 2014.
- "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 F.C. 21 May 2011. Archived from the original on 24 May 2011. Retrieved 21 May 2011.
- Portugal break England hearts; BBC Sport, 24 June 2004
- "Greece are crowned kings of Europe". UEFA.com. 5 July 2004. Retrieved 31 July 2016.
- Portugal revels in Ricardo heroics; UEFA.com, 2 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.
- "Ricardo". Soccerway. Retrieved 8 June 2014.
- Includes other competitive competitions, including the Portuguese Supercup