Ricardo Domingos Barbosa Pereira is a Portuguese footballer who plays as a winger for Leicester City. He is known for his mazy runs and neat passing which made him one of the most important players for Nice in the 2016/17 season.
Pereira was born on 6 October 1993 in Lisbon, Portugal. He was engaged with the game since the age of 8. He got his early footballing tutelage at the Benfica youth Academy before joining Sporting CP. Developing into a sprightly winger, Ricardo was scouted by the Victoria de Guimaraes where he got the first taste of senior team football.
Being one of the freshest rising talents of Portugal, Pereira had ample opportunities in the youth teams of the national side. With smart vision and astute footballing brain, Pereira excelled in the 2015 U21 European Championships. The attention he garnered was able to push him into the national squad.
He made his debut against Russia in Krasnodar in 2015 where the visitors slumped to a 1-0 defeat. Pereira’s international career hasn’t kicked off largely due to being a part of the golden generation of Portuguese football.
Portugal has never had a dearth of talented wingers and Ricardo has yet to climb in the pecking order. His last international appearance was against Saudi Arabia in 2017 which he capped off with an assist.
After spending years in various youth academies, Vitoria de Guimaraes pushed him to the senior team. He developed into a capable wingback, equally comfortable in defense and producing occasional burst of pace down the wings. He was the top scorer in the domestic cup competition - Taca de Portugal in the 2012 season and helped Vitoria guimaraes lift the trophy for the first time.
After a season with Vitoria, he joined FC Porto. Pereira struggled to secure a regular role at Porto and was sent out on loan to Nice for two seasons. He developed a niche for creating chances in Nice. He formed a potent partnership with Mario Balotelli and routinely created problems with his quick forward runs. The Portuguese wingback scored 1 goal and added 3 assists in 20 games in the 2016/17 season, with an average rating of 7.52/10. He also picked up 3 MOTM awards in the process.
When he finally made a return journey to Porto, Pereira was a completely transformed player and it has reflected in the current season. He has notched up 2 goals and 5 assists in the season already and is in the watchful eyes of many top European clubs.