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Player Profile: Ricardo Quaresma

Ricardo Quaresma
Full name: Ricardo Bernardo Andrade Quaresma

Position: Winger

Date of Birth: 25 September 1983

Birthplace: Lisbon, Portugal

Ricardo Quaresma burst on to the football scene at an early age when, still a trainee at Sporting, he was thrown into the Lisbon club’s first team in 2001/02 by coach Laszlo Boloni.

His flamboyant wing play earned him instant acclaim, and he proved a key player in Sporting’s championship winning team, making 28 appearances and scoring three goals in a highly encouraging debut season.

Outshining Ronaldo

Quaresma continued to show his full array of trickery in the 2002/03 season playing 31 matches, and scoring five goals, in so doing becoming Sporting’s star player, even outshining another prodigiously talented team-mate, Cristiano Ronaldo.

At the time both players were hailed as future stars of the Portuguese game, although most pundits predicted that out of the two it would be Quaresma who could aspire to equal or even better Luis Figo’s brilliant career.

The player nicknamed both “Ciganito” (little gypsy), because of his gypsy descent, and “Harry Potter”, because of his never-ending range of magical tricks, was snapped up by Spanish giants Barcelona. However, Quaresma failed to repeat his form for the Catalan side and after falling out with manager Frank Rijkaard, he returned to Portugal and signed for Porto.

After another mediocre year, the winger burst back to top form under the guidance of Dutch coach Co Adriaanse, producing the best football of his career, adding consistency to his endless well of natural talent. In an excellent Porto side it was Quaresma, simply unplayable as times, who shone brightest as Porto completed the league and cup double in 2005/06.

Quaresma continued to establish himself as one of the Portuguese league's best players over the following seasons, and it was inevitable that the winger would get another crack at a move abroad. That chance arrived in the summer of 2008, with Internazionale manager Jose Mourinho making his compatriot one of his first signings when taking over at the Italian champions.

However, Quaresma struggled to impress Mourinho during the first few months of his career at the San Siro, and was quickly shipped out to Chelsea in England on a short-term loan deal in January 2009.

Turkish rebirth

After again struggling to find his best form, the 25-year-old headed back to Italy and Inter at the season's end, but little further progress at the San Siro resulted in Quaresma opting to head to Besiktas in the summer of 2010, looking to finally realise his potential outside Portugal with the Istanbul club.

Since that time, Quaresma has flourished with Besiktas, revealing to fans of the historic Istanbul club his entire complement of skill, trickery, and rather unfortunately, his tendency to go into meltdown in tense situations. He has also struggled to remain healthy during his time with Besiktas, especially during the 2011/12 season when he missed a number of important games.

Quaresma's performance in Turkey has therefore only made it more difficult to determine what to make of him.  He is Portugal's "Jekyll and Hyde", an enigma that might win a game with a brilliant trivela, or condemn his team to defeat by lashing out at opponents and getting sent off.

Trademark trick

Among his bewitching skills, Quaresma’s trademark is his astonishing crossing and shooting ability with the outside of his right foot, combining pinpoint accuracy, power and swerve.

It has enabled him to hit several spectacular goals, such as the 20-metre angled shot against Rio Ave that was nominated European goal of the year by Eurosport TV in 2005/06, not to mention endless assists.

International career

Portugal’s under-21 team captain for several years, Quaresma’s superb 2005/06 season at Porto had seemingly made him a certainty for Portugal’s 2006 World Cup squad, and his exclusion by Luiz Filipe Scolari caused an outcry in the Portuguese press. Quaresma’s subsequent poor showing at the European under-21 championship somewhat vindicated Scolari’s decision.

Indeed, while most of Portugal’s football-adoring public pine for the day they can see Quaresma and Ronaldo speeding down each wing for the national team, Quaresma’s stuttering club career also saw him miss out on the 2010 World Cup. 

In spite of his relatively decent form for Besiktas, Quaresma has continued to see little time on the field with the Selecção under Bento. His inclusion in Bento's Euro 2012 squad could be explained as easily by the poor form of Varela and Portugal's striking corps as it could be by his own talent. Though it is likely that his playing time will be limited in Poland and Ukraine, this tournament could be an important place for him to prove that he can control his attitude and give the team more than just fancy footwork. 

Quaresma has shown in very limited quantities that he can be a game changer for the Selecção, and that is something that Portugal may desperately need, as they seek to navigate their way through the Group of Death at Euro 2012. 

by Tom Kundert & Nathan Motz (last updated: 21/05/2012)

Sporting 59 8
Barcelona 22 1
Porto 112 25
Inter 24 1
Chelsea (loan) 7 0
  Besiktas** 31  4 
PORTUGAL*** 33 3

* League only
** Up to December 2011
 *** Up to March 2012

Comments (15)
quaresma............... #@$@#@$$$$@& quaresma
15 Friday, 15 November 2013 17:31
What can I say for quaresma,no one can play like him even if it is ronaldo or messi ,he is the only one who can reach the against goal post alone.AND TRIIIIIIIVVVVVELLLLAAAA . .... U ALL KNOW VERY WELLLLLLLL . BETTTERR THAN ME.
14 Tuesday, 23 July 2013 16:26
Capo Diez
You need wake up and show you can do your best
Ricardo Quaresma
13 Sunday, 03 February 2013 17:43
My personal opinion is that Ricardo Quaresma needs either a Premier League side or a Major Club else where to give him a chance. Quaresma has enough skill & talent to be one of the best footballers in the world. Hopefully Portugal will call him up in the next qualifying rounds, Portugal really need him. Ronaldo on the one wing and Quaresma on the other, Unstopable! Viva Portugal!
12 Wednesday, 18 July 2012 19:48
quaresma is a very good player i watch quaresma play over the year to me he is the best portugal player and for world cup 2014 we need quaresma to win
comment number 2
11 Sunday, 27 May 2012 09:15
Lol what the hell is that guy goin on about :'D
playing styles
10 Wednesday, 18 January 2012 16:05
Portuguese style.
9 Friday, 16 December 2011 12:57
8 Tuesday, 08 February 2011 17:26
Campeon Besiktas Gerisi Bash !
7 Monday, 18 October 2010 05:07
I've seen this guy play for a long time and I think he has the potential to be one of the best in the world. The problem is (this goes for a lot of Portugues players) its all about him first and the team second. Team always goes before the individual. Its so sad because he doesn't realize that his courier will be over sooner then he thinks. Time goes by so quick. He has to make his mark now. I hope he wakes up and shows the world that he is one of the best. I know its not all his fault and Politics has played a role but you can overcome this by never giving up. The Portugal National team needs Quaresma if they want to go all the way. Viva Portugal.
6 Sunday, 10 October 2010 18:49
Ricardo Quaresma ist der qualitaetsvolle Spieler vom Fussballclub BEŞİKTAŞ. Wir bedanken uns dem Lande "Portugal" für diesen Fussballstar.
5 Friday, 03 September 2010 11:58
Beşiktaşın Kralı Quaresma Veliahtı GUTİ ...!!EN BÜYÜK BEŞİKTAŞ..I Love You Quaresma...! Kupalar bu sene bizim
Kärlek till Ricardo Quaresma!
4 Thursday, 17 June 2010 14:18
FORÇA QUARESMA! Världens bästa (och snyggaste) fotbollsspelare!
for ricardo quaresma
3 Thursday, 03 June 2010 23:42
he should go to the world cup because he is a very great player for Portugal.He can make a big im pack to win the world cup,he is very good player that should go to the world cup he deserves better than that.
Support from Sunrise Country
2 Friday, 21 May 2010 18:55
People are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in their true beauty is revealed only if there is light from within.

I have been pray to Nossa Senhora the Fatima so they can call you up to join in South Africa.
C'mon man show your best, I believe that the best is yet to come but this is it, this is the time for you to wake up.

All the youths in Timor Leste are with you and a selecao. Let's give them a surprise.

Viva RQ7
Viva selesao
Call him up
1 Sunday, 02 May 2010 21:41
Come on, you can't keep sending a guy all over the map and expecting him to adapt to different playing styles. Barcelona is Dutch style, Italian and English are very different from each other as well. Let him play where he plays best, Portuguese style. Call him up to the World Cup.

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