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Thursday, 09 December 2010 14:32

Ricardo sets sights on Portugal return as Betis nightmare nears end

Goalkeeper reflects on foreign experience

Former Portugal goalkeeper Ricardo says he expects to leave Spanish club Real Betis in January, and admits that his decision to leave Portugal did not work out as well as he had hoped.

Ricardo left Sporting in 2007 for his first experience abroad, joining Betis on a four-year contract in a deal worth around €3m. After establishing himself as the team’s first choice in his debut season, Ricardo lost his place during his second campaign in Spain and Betis were relegated to the Segunda Division.

Things got worse for Ricardo after the team’s relegation, as he was reduced to back-up for the entire term as Betis failed to achieve an immediate return to the top flight in 2009/10. Ahead of the current season, the 34-year-old was not given a squad number and has been training with the lower ranks.

Now, the struggles in Spain, which have cost Ricardo his international career with Portugal, appear close to an end. “At the moment, the situation is that I will be free to leave in January,” Ricardo told Maisfutbol. “We are about to put an end to an ordeal I have been suffering for over a year, but that has been worse over the last six months. In January, I will be a free player. My pain is about to be relieved.

“The question I am asked most is if I regret the move to Spain. I can’t complain, because it was a choice I made. If you ask me if I would do it again, probably not. Maybe I should have renewed at Sporting, which was the desire of the leaders of the club who wanted me to end my career there.

“It was a step I took. I don’t regret it, but it did go wrong. I arrived at the club when it was in a difficult situation institutionally. I very much want to go home now. There is interest from two foreign clubs, but they must be very serious projects, because my desire to live abroad has gone with this experience.

“I had been in the Portuguese league for twelve years and had wanted to try new things. When you are abroad, you realise the good things about our country. It is very much a possibility that I will return to Portugal.”

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Comments (24)
vitor B
24 Sunday, 12 December 2010 01:02
im a benfica fan and im only 16 but i clearly know that vitor B is a much better keeper then ricardo lets be honest.HE won more and was considered one of the best keepers in the world i am a fan for ricardo for what he did for portugal but when we be realistic baia is the best portuegese keeper that ive seen in my 16 years :even though my favorite keeper is quim so lets put this to rest BAIA is much better then ricardo
23 Saturday, 11 December 2010 06:37
Saving penalties in big matches...did any of u anti porto supporters see baia save a penalty versus lazio in uefa cup semifinals to take porto to the final and win the tournament? Probably not, watching porto win doesn't interest u and secondly u were probably still too young to remember. Nobody here is taking away any merit from ricardo's penalty save against england...but from reading all comments on here,guess what,thats his only achievement.baia is the worlds most decorated footballer(in terms of different winners medals won),mind u,i dont say goalkeeper,its footballer.awards don't just rain down on people.pls may someone list me ricardo's titles.
Both Good Goalies
22 Friday, 10 December 2010 21:38
Good friendly banter. Both of these goalies had their moments of brillance and blunders.

I would pick Ricardo in big games despite this weakness to crosses. Victor B had his moments but he was not effective in 2000 and 2002. Look at the following objectively for the last 30 seconds Portugal - France. Victor B should have grabbed the rolling ball but did not resulting in the hand ball that sealed our fate against France.

This should not be forgotten when looking at the entire body of work (2000 and 2002).

Ricardo? lol
21 Friday, 10 December 2010 13:35
lol @ all the under 30 kids in here saying baia was an averga goalie and not world class etc If baia wasnt world class why did he win fifa world goalkeeper of the year? Was ricardo ever in the running? Did ricardo ever win the champions league or play for a team like barcelona? lol Just because you have an emottional attachment to ricardo does not mean he was the better goalkeeper fror the national team. Ricardo was lucky enough to have the circumstances to do what he did and have andrade and carvalho in their prime in front of him,. He lost euro for portugal at home.
must be a joke
20 Friday, 10 December 2010 13:31
must be a joke compare ricardo with him:

Ricardo , The Basket Case ...Personified
19 Friday, 10 December 2010 13:00
All Golies are a mental basket case of some sort, and Ricardo defines it well. Both a mental and emotional basket case.
He was Scolari's selection cause he was Emotionally strong to do the job , and Scolari fed his head well and made sure he was confident and as a result we saw him make some real outstanding heroics in Euro 2004. That was all on Emotion the Patriotism the Love for the fans.

Sure he is a skillfull golie , but ave at best , Baia was better , we all know that , but lacks the emotional strength that would give any player an edge over their competion. Hats off to Scolari for seeing this opportunity.

All Good Golies have six senses, they know how to make quick decisions , thats confidence , they can fly and are agile , that being physically sound, and they know how to read a players mind , that's experience .

As for Ricardo's fate , he is at the bottom of the barrel emotionally, and mentally and it is going to take alot of motivation to get him off of this funk that he is in.
He has to work hard and get back his confidence cause he has the experience and if he is healthy he can do it and be at the top again.

Lots of luck to Ricardo !! A True Warrior !!!
18 Friday, 10 December 2010 12:49
I agree, you find its the same bunch coming on here and trash talking Portugal's past hero's such as Simao. At this point in time Ricardo will stand as one of the greatest goalies in Portuguese history, Baia did nothing for the national team when he has his chance so I don't understand why people are even trying to argue this.
17 Friday, 10 December 2010 12:17
Personaly I will never love this guy. And I repeat, one of the most overrated goalkeepers of football history.
Such a horrible gk with such horrible prepotent attitude.

The penalties on Portugal - England some went to the clouds (remember Beckham that unbalanced moments before shooting) and others was simply badly beaten (Heskey penalty). Of course he had some merit but he wasn't the hero that everyone wanted to be.
And just not to mention the show that he made on relative easy defenses to look like a world class gk.

I do not defend Vitor Baia just because I'm a portista. In fact I would prefer Quim as first GK then Baia on Euro 04 and WC06. Baia was a really good GK, but not a world class GK like Van der Saar, Petr Cech, Buffon or Casillas. How could Scolari let off Baia on Euro 04, one of the captains and elected the best GK of 2003/2004 Champions League season?
That is simple, because Baia is homossexual (or bissexual) and Scolari overly catholic (and curiously Ricardo too)[attention, I've no problem against religious people neither people with different sexual behaviour].
Scolari knew that on the first call up and then we all know the history, Baia was never again called up. And no, there was no judicial problems between Baia and the Federation like some newspapers said. I guess that the problem between Baia and the Federation was how they let that sexual option is a factor in Scolari selection for the NT.
Like Raymond Domenech in France that didn't called up the players from scorpio sign (like Trezeguet in 2004... imagine if he coached Maradona in the 80's, he's also scorpio).

Do you want to know another better GK than Ricardo that deserved a call-up in 2004?
Hilário (awesome season in Nacional that qualified them to european competitions. Was hired by Mourinho to Chelsea on that summer)

Another one in 2006?
Eduardo (he made an excellent season on Setubal where HE won the league cup or portuguese cup, I do not remember. If he had appeared more earlier on NT, maybe the actual national gk wasn't playing on Genoa but on another club with much more dimension)

So, Ricardo don't tell bad things about Betis and Spain, you were following the money and now they realized that you are a flop that lead Betis to second division.
If you had been a humble person when you were up, maybe I would respect you much more. Like Alexandre Dumas said before, justice can be delayed, but always arrives (like it also arrived to Scolari).
The biggest farce
16 Friday, 10 December 2010 12:10
By far the biggest joke on the national team back in the day. I tip my hat to him stopping the penalties but, that's a lottery and against England who are no penalty whiz's themselves.

I can only imagine how the Betis directors felt when they signed Ricardo and promptly saw themselves dumped to division two. I hear they tried to loan him out to the local InterMarche, he BBQ's a mean bird.
15 Friday, 10 December 2010 04:18
Ricardo left us with plenty of unforgettable memories. You cannot win in a more entertaining way than Ricardo stopping two shots and scoring the winner. I'll never forget how big the celebration was that day. Classic. So many fake portuguese fans here.. I wonder when CR hits 30+, and there is better winger options.. what some of you will say? Just like Deco and Simao who get spit on after so many years of great service. Ungreatful fans.
14 Friday, 10 December 2010 02:08
The Best Man For Benfica Goalkeeper Job...Just Leave Roberto
13 Thursday, 09 December 2010 23:20
he may have been good with penalties but he cost us in the euro final and vs germany in euro 08, the guy is terrible on set pieces or crosses into the box
World Cup 2002
12 Thursday, 09 December 2010 22:01
Why was Baia picked instead of Ricardo to play in the WC 2002? Ricardo was in the form of his life in the qualifiers, and Baia barely played that season. Oliveira was Baia's godfather at his wedding was he not?
11 Thursday, 09 December 2010 19:05
What's up wit the Vitor Baia and Ricardo comparisons. Ricardo doesn't touch Baia's heels. As for Ricardo getting the national team jersey over Baia, any person willing to give it the minimal of thought will realise that decision hinged on Scolari's personal vendetta against Baia. UEFA's 2004 best club goalkeeper can't make it into the national team, that speaks volumes. If we're going to speak of overrated goalkeepers,i'll gladly drop Ricardo's name into that pot.
Are you Nuts?
10 Thursday, 09 December 2010 18:48
torpiano, uk, says; "Baia could have been the difference between winning Euro 2004 and losing it. We were always going to beat England on penalties whoever was in goal."

I'm not a Ricardo supporter by any stretch of the imagination, but are you seriously going to take away from what Ricardo did for the national team in those 2 major tournaments???

At the time I would have picked Quim over Ricardo, but the decision was taken and that's that. That being said, without Ricardo's performance there is no way we would have beaten England! Torpiano, ARE YOU NUTS?

When he was needed most Ricardo was clutch, and no one can refute that fact!

If we can go back in time I would be teh first to say Ricardo should not be starting, but Scolari chose who he chose and it worked out the way it did. Give the man the respect he deserves... HE WAS MORE THEN CLUTCH!!!

Regarding Baia... get real dude... do you remember what he looked like in Euro2000 and WC 2002... Thank god he was never selected again!!!

Furthermore, is Baia "tivesse vergonha" he wouldn't of cried to the papers as long as he did about not being selected. WHat a whiner!!!!

Euro2000 proved that Baia had become a "has been"!

The only reason he was selected for 2002 is cuz Oliveira owned part of his rights in Porto and they (Pinto Da Costa included) were hoping to make some more money by selling him away again.
Ricardo, Ricardo, Ricardo...
9 Thursday, 09 December 2010 18:00
I remember when Arsenal was interested in him and once he made the surprising move to Betis I knew it wasn't going to be a good era for him. I guess he should stayed in Portugal because he wasn't always a starter at Betis but I remember he made like 12 saves against Barcelona his last season in La Liga (I believe).

I disagree Ricardo>Vitor Baia if your talking about as a whole in club and national. It was obvious that Baia had a club football resume that Ricardo wish he had but national team level I give the edge to Baia again. Ricardo might of been heroic at some of the games when it mattered but he was clumsy and terrible reading at dead-ball situations but it wasn't always his fault (defense weak in the air). Someone mentioned Euro 2000 honestly what could Baia do to benefit us? No blame towards him.

Ricardo if you want to revive your career then I think the Liga Sagres will welcome you with open arms.
Under Rated Goalie
8 Thursday, 09 December 2010 17:16
Ricardo was an under rated goalie who was a great shot blocker but weak on crosses. He was instrumental in Euro 2004 and WC 2006, he made some great saves on penalty shoot outs. He was terrible in Euro 2008 but overall his body of work was good for the national team.

We tend to focus on the negative but overall a national hero and the GK I would pick in the 2000's for Portugal.

I am not sure the overrated Victor Baia would have made those saves in 2004 and 2006. People forget Euro 2000 and the play that lead to the handball penalty kick that ended our run against France. Victor Baia a few seconds before the hand ball was not able to handle a ball that he failed to dive on and secure (watch the video).

Victor Baia in my opinion was a good GK but overrated. I would pick Ricardo over Victor Baia.

I say all of this to not debate but give Ricardo his proper due as a very good GK for Portugal. He had his flaws but overall a good body of work to give Portugal glory in 2004 and 2006.
Good memories
7 Thursday, 09 December 2010 16:10
In his prime he was a great player for Portugal and the memory of him in that shoot out with England in Euro04 will always be one of my favorites. I think he will be a good pick for some Portuguese teams, I’m not sure what those years on the sidelines and age have done to his quality but it shouldn’t be too hard for him to find a home.
6 Thursday, 09 December 2010 16:05
Gave me my favourite sporting memory, scoring the penalty against England in Euro 2004. Awesome.
overhyped player
5 Thursday, 09 December 2010 15:56
He was a liability to Portugal and a laibility to Sporting.

An average goalie that will always live off his ability to save penalties, which admittedly was impressive.

He was awful in the air though, and doesn't Charisteas know it?

Vitor Baia should have been our no.1 at Euro 2004, especially after helping Porto to the Champions League only months earlier but Felipao let personal reasons cloud his judgement.

Baia could have been the difference between winning Euro 2004 and losing it. We were always going to beat England on penalties whoever was in goal.
He should return to a lower team.
4 Thursday, 09 December 2010 15:55
I'm sure the big four aren't interested in him. Especially Braga because our keeper options are extensive. Quim, Felipe, and Artur are all great keepers. I would say Quim is better than Benfica... too bad he isn't going to play against them on sunday.
Ah Retardo
3 Thursday, 09 December 2010 15:53
Another Portuguese player regreting a move abroad isn't anything new. Most players who leave Portuguese teams for even lower ranked sides in Europe most of the time end up failing and coming back to Portugal at some point. When Retardo left Sporting for Real Betits most Portuguese supporters were shocked. I mean he was leaving a top team in Portugal to go play for some, at the time, mid level club in Spain...Anyways it would be nice for him to come back home, but I can't see any of the "Big 3" and other top teams such as Braga and Guimaraes taken him...Maybe he should go to Boavista and help them from their misery
2 Thursday, 09 December 2010 15:18
Call Scolari, maybe he can find you a job as goalkeeper or... whatever!

One of the most overrated gk of history.
Special Player
1 Thursday, 09 December 2010 14:39
There is only one Ricardo. For everything else, Theres Eduardo.

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