Benfiquista at heart and with a success path at the Club (2003-2010 and a spell in 2012), the Portuguese international Ricardinho was named the best futsal player in the world for the fifth time (a record!), the fourth consecutive time, by Futsal Planet, which is endorsed by FIFA.
The player of the Spanish team Inter Movistar had already won the prize in the last three editions, in 2014, 2015 and 2016, and also in 2010, when he shone at Benfica and helped the team win the UEFA Futsal Cup (the futsal's Champions League). Falcão, the Brazilian player and big idol that Ricardinho has tattooed on his left leg, is now one step behind with four awards.
The former Benfica futsal player earned 917 votes of the panel of 211 voters of the awards for the best in 2017, against 508 of the Spanish Carlos Ortiz Jiménez, his teammate at Inter, and 332 of Santiago Basile, captain of the Argentina National team.
“Thank you, Futsal! I don't know what to say in this moment, but they are 5 times at the top of the world... Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you”, wrote Ricardinho on his personal Facebook account.
26. This is the number of titles that Ricardinho has already amassed in his career during his spells at Benfica, Nagoya Oceans (Japan) and Inter Movistar (Spain). He has many trophies and individual titles.
Ricardinho arrived at Benfica in 2003, as a U-19, and until 2010 – when he moved to the Japanese side of Nagoya Oceans –, he won 1 UEFA Futsal Cup, 5 National Championships, 4 Portuguese Cups and 4 Super Cup. He returned to Luz in 2011/12 on loan, in a season he became National Champion with Benfica.
"I'm crazy for Benfica! I know that not everyone will like this, but it is the club I love and one must respect that", said Ricardinho in a recent interview with the Spanish Eurosport, during which he remembered the best moment that he had as an Eagles' athlete: "It was in 2010, when we won the UEFA Futsal Cup. We faced Inter Movistar [the club I currently represent], which had a great team ."
Ana Catarina and Janice highlighted the women's poll
In the female, Ana Catarina, the Benfica and National team goalkeeper, was once again the runner-up in her category, with 418 votes, 20 points behind the leader, the Spanish Estela García.
In the category of best female futsal player in the world, Janice reached the sixth place, with 276 votes. The Brazilian Amandinha is at the top spot.
Text: Filipa Fernandes Garcia
Pics: Archive/ SL Benfica