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Top facts about Ricardinho, the Portuguese futsal magician

Wed 15 June 2022 | 4:30

After 18 years representing Portugal and a club career that included three triumphs in the Champions League, Ricardinho, the six-time Best Futsal Player in the World, decided to call it a career at the age of 36. Read on to find out more facts about Ricardinho.

Ricardo Filipe da Silva Duarte Braga, also known as Ricardinho, is a Portuguese futsal player born in Valbom, Gondomar on September 3, 1985.

Ricardinho’s age

is 36.

From Gramidense, where he began playing futsal at the age of 17, he has worn the jerseys of Miramar, Benfica, Nagoya Oceans (Japan), CSKA Moscow (Russia), Inter Futbol Sala (Spain), and the current ACCS FC (France).

Unanimously regarded as the best Portuguese futsal player, he was named Best Player in the World in 2010, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018, becoming the first and only Portuguese to receive this honor. He is the only player in history to have received the honor more than four times, with a total of six.

Throughout his career, he has appeared in five UEFA Futsal Champions League (or UEFA Futsal Cup) finals, winning three of them: in 2009/10 with Benfica and in 2016-17 and 2017–18 with Inter Movistar.

Throughout his career, he has published two books: "Ricardinho - Magia nos Pés" (2007) and "A Magic Happens Where There Is Dedication" (2018), and in 2016, he founded Academia Ricardinho&Ortiz with his colleague Carlos Ortiz, which is dedicated to the technical advancement of young people.

Ricardinho is praised for his defensive quality and effort, which are uncommon in a player with such great offensive talent and dribbling ability, both of which are hallmarks of a complete player.

Given his accomplishments and level of play, some experts consider him to be the greatest futsal player of all time.

Top facts about Ricardinho:

Many consider him to be the greatest futsal player of all time, having won multiple trophies and honors for both club and nation, including the UEFA Futsal Champions League, UEFA European Futsal Championship, FIFA Futsal World Cup, Best Player of the World awards, and others. He is mostly a flanker/winger who wears the number "10" on a regular basis.

Ricardinho early life

Regarding

Ricardinho’s childhood

, it should be mentioned that when he was ten years old, he was at his grandmother's home when it burned down. Ricardinho, his mother, and his brother had to flee via a window to safety.

The family was already impoverished (he had to borrow his first pair of futsal shoes), but suddenly they were left with virtually nothing and had to relocate.

There was one bright spot in the whole scenario. He attributes his current achievement to the drive he had as a result of the experience. There is no information available regarding

Ricardinho’s parents

.

If it hadn't been for a change of coach at the football team where Ricardinho was trialing as a 14-year-old, he may have been a football superstar.

FC Porto, one of Portugal's top clubs, was the team in question. He was replaced by a coach who told him he was too little when the coach who brought him to the club departed.

A tremendous setback for football, but a great win for futsal. Ricardinho was so disappointed that he didn't play for 18 months (which boosted his school scores), but he was ultimately discovered playing futsal on the street and encouraged to give it a go.

The rest, as they say, is history! His academy, Escolinha R10, has seen youngsters depart to play for the club that had previously rejected him.

Ricardinho professional career

An important fact about Ricardinho is that he led Portugal to its first two major international titles, the 2018 European Futsal Championship and the 2021 Futsal World Cup. He is currently the leading scorer in European National Team Championships history.

Ricardinho club career

An important

fact about Ricardinho

is that he began playing futsal at Gramidense, where he later transferred to represent Miramar at the professional level.

Soon after, he stood out in the Vila Nova de Gaia team and was hired by Benfica, a team that had just launched in the sport and began with an ambitious project to end Sporting's hegemony.

Benfica

He quickly takes a stake in the formation of the Encarnados and becomes a fan favorite, earning him the nickname "the Magician." Internally, his first season at Benfica ends in failure.

Sporting wins the 2003/2004 Championship, while SL Olivais wins the Portuguese Cup. However, in the UEFA Futsal Cup, Benfica, led by Ricardinho, made a historic run to the final, where they were defeated by Intervi by a score of 5-7 on aggregate.

Everything changes the following season. And Benfica's number 10 helps his club win the "double," winning the National Championship and the 2004/2005 Portuguese Cup, relegating Sporting to second place and defeating Boavista 4-1 in the Cup final.

The 2005/2006 season begins promisingly, with a 5-5 Supercup victory (5-4 on penalties), but does not end well, with Benfica losing the two most important competitions to the Lions. Benfica was defeated by a significant margin in the Cup final, losing 5-9 in Coimbra.

Benfica would go on to win three National Championships, two Portuguese Cups, and two Supercups in the following three seasons (2006/2007, 2007/2008, and 2008/2009).

The motto was set for the international bet, and with a very strong team comprised of players such as Ricardinho, Arnaldo Pereira, Pedro Costa, Joel Queirós, and César Paulo, among others, Benfica, led by ex-captain André Lima, managed to win the coveted European champion trophy, with a victory in the UEFA Futsal Cup 2009/2010.

In the competition's final four, played at Pavilho Atlântico in Lisbon, he scored two crucial goals against Luparense Calcio of Italy in the semi-final. Benfica's 8-4 victory in that match stamped their passport to the competition's final.

Despite not scoring a goal, he was crucial in Benfica's 3-2 victory over Intervi Madrid, which made Benfica the first Portuguese club to win European futsal.

Domestically, Benfica would miss out on becoming a four-time national champion and would be defeated by Belenenses in the Portuguese Cup final.

Nagoya

He leaves Luz at the end of the 2009/2010 season after 7 seasons with Benfica. According to a January 2010 agreement, "the Magician" signs a three-year contract with the Japanese Nagoya Oceans.

In his first season with the Japanese club, coached by Adil Amarante, the player's former Benfica coach, he won two trophies. In his debut for Nagoya Oceans, he scores two goals in the Oceans Arena Cup, which Nagoya Oceans won 4–0 over Osaka.

With only five matches remaining, the Japanese championship would be won relatively easily. Nagoya Oceans became the fourth Japanese champions with this victory.

An important fact about Ricardinho is that he won two individual titles during the 2010/2011 season. He was voted the best player in the Japanese championship, but he also won the coveted Umbro Futsal Award, which is given to the best player in the world of the sport each year.

As a result, he became the first and only Portuguese player to be regarded as the best in the world.

Moscow

He embarked on a new adventure for the 2011/2012 season. He was loaned to CSKA Moscow for a season, with the Russian club having the option to buy him back. He was reunited with Cardinal as a teammate; they had previously met on the national team.

The adventure lasted only a few months. He cited a lack of professionalism and training as the source of the issue that prompted him to terminate his contract with the Russian club.

Back to Benfica

An important fact about Ricardinho is that he returned to Benfica in early 2012. The player was loaned out at his own request and returned with renewed ambitions and the desire to win everything once more at the service of the Incarnates.

That goal would be met, with Benfica winning another double after defeating Modicus 2-1 in the final of the Taça de Portugal and Sporting in the final of the National Championship play-off.

Sport Lisboa e Benfica won their sixth championship only in the "Negra," after a tense final with their main rivals, with victories in game 4 (at the opponent's home), on penalties, and in the decisive game, in the extension.

He only played in two of the five games in the final because he was suspended. Surprisingly, he only appeared in two of his club's defeats. Despite this, he made a significant contribution to Benfica's success, winning the 5th National Championship and the 4th Portuguese Cup during his career.

Back to Nagoya

An important fact about Ricardinho is that he returned to the Japanese league to finish his final season with Nagoya Oceans after finishing his loan with Benfica. Last year, he won the F. League for the second time and bid Japan farewell.

Movistar Internacional

After overcoming several doubts, Ricardinho's return to Europe was confirmed for the 2013-14 season to compete in the Liga Nacional de Ftbol Sala in Spain.

The player signed a three-year contract with the historic club Inter Ftbol Sala, now known as Inter Movistar for sponsorship reasons, which is regarded as one of the best futsal clubs in the world.

Inter Movistar has won the Copa de Espaa three times (2014, 2016 and 2017), the Copa del Rey once (in 2014-2015), and the Supercopa de Espaa twice (in 2015 and 2018). They have also won the UEFA Futsal Cup twice in a row (2016-2017 and 2017-2018).

Inter Movistar was crowned five-time Spanish champion in the LNFS, Spain's main futsal league, against FC Barcelona this year. This is the club's 13th title and the 5th in a row in this competition. Inter Movistar also won the UEFA Futsal Cup for the second year in a row this season.

During his time at Inter Movistar, Ricardinho won the title of Best Futsal Player in the World five times (2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018), having previously won the title in 2010 while playing for Nagoya Oceans in Japan.

He was named Best Player of the European Futsal Championship this year (2018). Ricardinho received this award for the second time; I received it for the first time in 2007, while playing for Benfica.

Asnières Villeneuve 92 ACCS

An important fact about Ricardinho is that he won the French Futsal League while playing for ACCS Asnières Villeneuve 92 in the 2020-21 season.

Ricardinho international career

He competed in three major international competitions for the National Team. His debut came at the 2007 European Championship in Portugal. He had a fantastic debut, scoring four goals.

Portugal would be eliminated in the semi-finals by champions Spain, but only on penalties following a 2–2 tie in regulation time.

The National Team finished the tournament in fourth place after losing to Russia in the third and fourth place award game. Spain would win the tournament with a 3-1 victory over Italy. He was even regarded as the tournament's best player.

Portugal qualified for the World Cup in Brazil in 2008. The tournament did not go well for Ricardinho and his teammates, who were eliminated in the group stage based solely on goal differential. A 1-3 defeat by Italy would be fatal to national hopes.

An important fact about Ricardinho is that he was forced to sit out of what could have been his second European competition due to an injury, while his colleagues finished second in Hungary. Spain eventually defeated Portugal in the final, 2-4.

Two years later, he had another chance to bring the European championship to Portugal, but the team fell in the quarter-finals of Euro2012 to Italy, losing 1-3.

On September 13, 2016, he became Portugal's all-time leading scorer, scoring six goals in a 9-0 victory over Panama in a world championship qualifier.

The 32-year-old, who has already been named the world's best player five times, will compete in his first European final, with the corners on his chest, in what could be the country's first European title.

Portugal won the UEFA Futsal Euro for the first time on February 10, 2018. Ricardinho scored one of the three goals in this final, making him the player with the most goals in European futsal history. As a result, he received the rank of Commander of the Order of Merit on the same day.

After an outstanding season at club and national level, he was named the best player in the world for the sixth time at the age of 33. (the fifth consecutive time).

They became world champions on 3 October 2021, when Portugal won the FIFA Futsal World Cup for the first time. On October 4, 2021, he was appointed Commander of the Order of Infante D. Henrique.

Ricardinho books

Ricardinho published his first book, "Ricardinho - Magic in the Feet," in November 2007, in which he explains the techniques, tactics, trained plays, rules, and many other details. It contains several stories from his career. This is the first futsal book published in Portugal.

Ricardinho's second book was published in June of this year. He discusses the importance of food, a rigorous training regimen, and fundamental exercises in post-game recovery in this book. He also explains the rules of his sport and reveals the famous "goat" secret.

Ricardinho & Ortiz Academy

Ricardinho and Carlos Ortiz, an experienced Spanish futsal player and teammate who is also the captain of the Spanish national team, founded the Ricardinho & Ortiz Futsal Technical Qualification Academy in 2016.

Ricardinho & Ortiz Academy's mission is to devote itself to the technical development of young people, where they can improve their shooting, passing, and dribbling techniques.

The first Academy is in Madrid, but the goal is to replicate the structure throughout the world, and agreements for implementation in countries such as Korea, Dubai, Japan, and Portugal have already been signed.

Ricardinho and Ortiz went on tour with the Academy in several cities around the world at the end of June 2018. The Ricardinho & Ortiz Tour began on June 30th in Dudelange, Luxembourg, and traveled to Fukuoka and then Tokyo.

He also traveled through Qatar, the United States, and Germany. During this tour, the two futsal players interacted with over 500 children.

Ricardinho legacy

What would a cross between Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi look like with the ball at their feet? Ricardinho is the solution.

"If you put Ronaldo and Messi together in futsal, that's how Ricardinho is," Jorge Braz, the coach of Portugal's futsal seleço, told the Guardian immediately after Ricardinho's side won the Euros in 2018.

The embodiment of a bulging bag of tricks, O Mágico (the magician), is a scaled-down micro-genius of the small-sided game.

The figures are astounding. In 160+ appearances, he averaged almost a goal per game. Six times he was voted the top player in the world.

His brand matches up to all but the elite band of A-list multimillionaire players in nations where the indoor sport is strongly established. The sport is also doing well: from 2010 to 2015, Fifa reported a 100 percent increase in participation to 60 million people.

An important fact about Ricardinho is that he wants futsal to become an Olympic sport, and he believes that one of his pals, Brazil's Marcelo, would return to his futsal origins after his Real Madrid career is over.

"Some claim the futsal field is too tiny for me, but I counter that we only have a few futsal idols. Neymar, Ronaldo, and others are the models we see adults giving to youngsters these days — they're all football stars."

Ricardinho is half an inch shorter than Messi and a year younger than Ronaldo at 1.67m (5ft 6in). All three grew up with the same fundamentals: a desire to play professional football while honing their amazing abilities and control of the ball on the futsal court.

In their youth, Messi and Ronaldo attest to its importance as a laboratory for creativity, learning, and deliberate practice.

Ricardinho took a different route. At the age of 14, his childhood club, Porto, dismissed him as being too tiny for football.

"I've always claimed that becoming a football player was my dream," he adds. "However, futsal picked me rather than the other way around. I attempted to play football but was informed I was too tiny. If this is what I'm going to play, I want to be the greatest at it, I stated when futsal selected me.”

He is the gamechanger most capable of eking out pockets of air and breathing life into competitions fought out under stifling intensity in a sport known for imposing severe limits on time and space – it's the equivalent of playing 37-a-side on a football field. He is the king of one vs. one. No one else compares to him as a team player.

An important

fact about Ricardinho

is that he made his futsal debut for Benfica at the age of 17 in 2003 and rejected down offers to switch codes from the club's football team manager, current Portugal coach Fernando Santos, four years later.

Ricardinho later moved to Nagoya Oceans in Japan for a large sum of money (equivalent to the lucrative path to China in the modern 11-a-side game).

He "offered them a ridiculous price" after rejecting their offer to more than treble his compensation to €30,000 per month. "I was certain they would never accept, yet they did."

After loan stints at CSKA Moscow and again at Benfica, he landed a dream transfer to Inter Movistar in Madrid, Barcelona's primary rivals in Spain's Liga Nacional de Futebol Sala. He had thrived there for the previous six seasons, earning the equivalent of the Ballon d'Or five times.

"The quickness with which I convey information from the brain to the feet," Ricardinho adds, is his greatest strength.

His slew of goals and deft maneuvering are social media gold. He is a cult icon in numerous futsal-playing countries, notably Serbia, where his incredible goal against the hosts in the 2016 futsal European Championship went viral.

He's come a long way since then. His book, La magia acontece donde hay dedicación (Magic occurs where there is devotion), follows his rise from the slums of Valbom, where he used oranges or taped-up socks as a ball, to his current eminence, where he is compared to the world's top players.

Ricardinho began his career at Gramidense before joining Miramar in 2002. He began his professional career there. After making a name for himself at this club, he moved on to Benfica, a club with a lofty goal of unseating its archrival, Sporting Lisbon.

With a creative and high-quality game, it didn't take long for Benfica fans to fall in love and become followers. Ricardinho's Benfica reached the final of the 2003-04 UEFA Futsal Cup, where they were defeated by Intervi 5-7.

Benfica won the league and the Portuguese Cup the following season, completing a double. As of this season, Benfica has dominated the national championship, and the team made history by winning the 2009-10 UEFA Futsal Cup after defeating Intervi 3-2, in which Ricardinho excelled.

Ricardinho leaves Benfica at the end of the season to join Nagoya Oceans, where he spent one season and won the Japanese league. During his time at the club, he won his first award as the best player in the world. Ricardinho spent the following season on loan at MFK CSKA Moscow, where he had only been a few months.

 Following that, in 2012, he returned to Benfica, where he completed another double with the Portuguese club.

In the 2013-14 season, he signed with Inter Movistar, where he won the National Futsal League championship and was named MVP, quickly becoming the team's franchise player and being named best player in the world in 2014.

The following year, he won the league with Inter Movistar and was named MVP for the second time.  With Inter, he also won the Spanish Futsal Super Cup.

Inter Movistar won the LNFS again in 2015-16. Ricardinho could not be MVP again this season because Bruno Taffy was named the competition's best player.

In 2016, he was the leading scorer in the World Cup held in Colombia that year, with 12 goals, six of which came in a single match against Panama, a tournament in which his team reached the semifinals before losing to Argentina, the eventual world champion, and finishing fourth after falling to Iran on penalties in the match for third place.

Despite receiving a million-dollar offer from Nacional de Zagreb in Croatia, Ricardinho chooses to stay with Inter Movistar.

In 2017, he won the Spanish Cup on penalties against ElPozo Murcia. He and his team, Inter Movistar, won the 2016-17 UEFA Futsal Cup on April 30, 2017, after defeating Sporting CP (0-7) in a historic match.

Ricardinho gave Inter Movistar the league that same season after scoring the game-winning goal (2-1) in the fifth game of the playoffs against FC Barcelona.

On January 10, 2018, he was named the best player in 2017, his fourth consecutive award and fifth of his career, surpassing the number of awards obtained by the Brazilian Falco.

Only a month later, on February 10, he won the European Championship with the Portuguese team after defeating multiple continental champion Spain 3-2 in the final, earning him the titles of best player of the tournament and top scorer of the competition despite being injured in the final.

He signed another historic season with Inter Movistar, revalidating the UEFA Futsal Cup by defeating Sporting CP 5-2, and the LNFS in the final, defeating FC Barcelona in the playoff final.

He was named the best futsal player in the world for the sixth time, and the fifth time in a row, in December 2018.

He left Inter Movistar in 2020, after winning his sixth league title with the Madrid club. His new club was ACCS Paris of the French league.

Some more facts about Ricardinho:

O Mágico (The Magician) was crowned Best Player of the World by Futsal Planet a record six times in 2010, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018.

Ricardinho is the first player in history to win the award more than four times, and he is also the only Portuguese player to do so. In 2020, he was named to FutsalFeed's Best Team of the Year Honor for the first time, marking the first time this award was created.

An important fact about Ricardinho is that he has won the UEFA Futsal Cup, currently known as the UEFA Futsal Champions League, three times, with Benfica in 2009–10, Inter FS in 2016–17, and Inter FS in 2017–18.

He had earlier played in a final as a youth, for Benfica, against Boomerang Intervi in 2003–04. In 2015–16, he again lost another final while at Inter FS, this time to Gazprom-Ugra. In European events with his nation, he won the UEFA Futsal Euro 2018, finishing as top scorer and receiving the Best Player title.

In the 2007 edition, he was voted Best Player, and in the 2016 edition, he was joint-top scorer. He is presently the competition's all-time leading scorer.

An important

fact about Ricardinho

is that he was awarded the Golden Ball for the best player during the FIFA Futsal World Cup in 2021, shortly after his last match, adding another individual success to his World Cup Golden Shoe title for top scorer from the previous edition in 2016.

This honor was closely linked to his achievements to Portugal's World Cup victory in 2021. During the late 2010s and early 2020s, Ricardinho led his Portuguese national team to the first two of its back-to-back international championships, the country's first major honors: the UEFA Futsal Euro 2018 and the 2021 FIFA Futsal World Cup.

Ricardinho is praised for his defensive skills and workrate, which is unusual for a player of such attacking talent, making him a highly well-rounded player. Some analysts consider him to be the best futsal player of all time, based on his accomplishments and outstanding performances.

An important fact about Ricardinho is that he learnt the spectacular goal he scored against Serbia, which was witnessed by millions around the globe only hours after it was scored, from a character in the EA Sports video game FIFA 20 Volta.

Issy 'Hitman' Hamdaoui, a street football superstar, also played futsal and was Ricardinho's teammate at Inter Movistar for a brief spell. Ricardinho's talent against the UEFA Futsal Euro 2016 hosts was inspired by Hamdaoui's "Akka 3000" movement, which he devised.

On his left calf, he has a tattoo of Brazilian great Falcao. "The Number One; Falcao 12," it simply says. He currently has two more FutsalPlanet Best Player of The World trophies than his hero, having been crowned the best player in the world a record six times. He also has numerous more tattoos, including one that says "courage" in Japanese.

Shortly after the Fukushima nuclear crisis, he joined with CSKA Moscow on loan from Nagoya in Japan. The Russian squad, which earned him 40,000 euros per month, was coached by a Portuguese coach and included Cardinal, a former international colleague with whom he would later reunite in Spain.

However, he was dissatisfied with the club's professionalism and training, and he struggled to adjust to life in the Russian capital, thus he left less than six months after signing.

Ricardinho social media

Regarding

Ricardinho social media

, it should be mentioned that he has an Instagram page (

@ricardinho10oficial

) with 1.1M followers. On the page, we can see various pictures of him along with his fans and family.

Ricardinho body measurements

Speaking about

Ricardinho body measurements

, it should be mentioned that the player is 168cm and 71kg.

Ricardinho net worth and salary

Ricardinho's net worth

is estimated to be around $15 million, according to Wikipedia, Forbes, and Business Insider.

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