Ricardo Pereira

Ricardo: Boxing Day Rockets & Last-Gasp Victories

Despite being a Leicester City player for less than two years, Ricardo Pereira did not struggle when asked to select six memorable games as a Fox.
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The Portugal international right-back signed for the Football Club shortly after the 2017/18 campaign came to an end, joining from FC Porto, where he had just won the Primeira Liga.

During his first season in England, he finished as the Premier League’s fourth-highest tackler, and after 29 games in 2019/20, he currently sits top of the rankings.

Coupled with his defensive ability, Ricardo provides a significant threat from right-back, with some of his City goals featuring in his favourite games for the Club.

A debut vs. Manchester United

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Ricardo Pereira
Ricardo Pereira

Ricardo made his Foxes debut at the Theatre of Dreams.

The Portuguese’s Premier League bow came in a 2-1 defeat by Manchester United at Old Trafford, with Ricardo playing a part in Jamie Vardy’s late effort.

His in-swinging cross hit the base of the post before Vardy was on hand to convert from close range – but Ricardo does not count it in his assist tally.

“Of course, my first game for Leicester, first game in the Premier League in a nice stadium like Old Trafford, so I picked that one,” Ricardo said. “Unfortunately, we didn't have a good result, even if we played well [in] that game.

“But it was a game that it will keep in my mind as one of the special ones.  I remember, even before the game, the tunnel of Old Trafford is on the side, I remember seeing on TV and video games, so it was really special there.

“But then you see the ambience, the noise in the stadium is something different than I was used to, for sure. It didn't count as an assist (his cross for Jamie Vardy) but almost!

“Unfortunately, it was near the end, so we didn't have much time after that, but like I said, it was a special game. I think that I will keep it in my memory.”

A solo strike against Everton

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Ricardo Pereira
Ricardo Pereira

It didn't take long for Ricardo to show his goalscoring touch for City.

In October 2018, on his seventh league appearance for the Foxes, Ricardo scored a magnificent solo goal against Everton at King Power Stadium.

Although a stunner from Gylfi Sigurðsson won it for the visitors, Ricardo was pleased to get off the mark in the Premier League.

He said: “First of all, it's always special on my birthday. It was funny, because of that, I scored on my birthday. Unfortunately, the games I choose, we lost both!

“But I remember being very happy with my goal and helping the team because we were losing. And then I drew the game. So, it's a special game for me too.

“It was a good goal. A thing that I do a lot of pushing for the left foot, so it was good, for sure. When I came inside, he (the defender) was very close to the ball.

“I think if he went right, or a little bit before, he could get the ball. But I saw he was close to me. I tried to feint that I was shooting, and I pushed, so I take him out of the way so it was easier to score.”

An unforgettable goal against Man City

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Ricardo Pereira
Ricardo Pereira

A stunner from the Portugal international sealed a win over Manchester City.

Ricardo’s brilliant strike against Manchester City on Boxing Day is certain to evoke fond memories for the Blue Army, as well as the right-back.

After Marc Albrighton cancelled out a goal from Ricardo’s international team-mate, Bernardo Silva, the Lisbon-born defender rifled into the net from distance to secure a win over the champions.

He recalled: “It was my first Boxing Day, a game against the champions, [Man] City. So, it was a special game, apart from the goal and winning the game with this, my second goal of the season, it was even better.

“I had my mum and my nephew there, so it was even better. We were in a good moment at that time, so it was very good and important.

“Outside the box, it was one of my best goals, for sure. Everyone jumped, I jumped! I wanted to run, it's a happy moment.”

Fighting back with 10 men

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Ricardo Pereira & Youri Tielemans
Ricardo Pereira & Youri Tielemans

Ricardo celebrates with Youri Tielemans after Wes Morgan's winner.

While Ricardo did not play a role in either of City’s goals during the 2-1 win at Burnley in March 2019, what stood out for him was the spirit the Foxes showed to claim all three points. 

Harry Maguire was dismissed after just four minutes, leaving City with an uphill battle, and after Dwight McNeil replied to James Maddison’s superb free-kick, skipper Wes Morgan headed home in injury time for the 10-man Foxes.

“It's a game that Harry [Maguire] took a red card, I don't know, in the first five minutes, something like that,” Ricardo said.

“So, playing the whole game with 10 players, it was not a game that we had the ball or we had a lot of chances, but was a game that we stuck together and we believed until the end and near the end, Wes [Morgan] scored a goal and it was a special game with all the effort we had in that game to win in the end was a game that I remember and you see the character of the team.

“It's a different win to the wins where you play very well, when you have a lot of chances, and you win like two or three nil.

“Of course, you are happy when you win two or three nil but it was a different win when you feel that it's the small details that make the difference and you believe and you stick together, be together and work not only for you but you do the work for your team-mate if he needs.

“So, it's an important game for me and that you can see the power and the strength of the team. I remember Jonny [Evans], I think in the photos you think it's Jonny that scored because he's more happy than Wes, so it was a funny moment!”

Inspiring victory over Spurs

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Ricardo Pereira
Ricardo Pereira

He wheels away after scoring Leicester's equaliser against Spurs.

Up until Ricardo’s leveller, Tottenham Hotspur had looked good value for their 1-0 lead on Filbert Way in September, and had a goal disallowed by VAR just moments before the Portuguese struck.

However, after Ricardo restored parity, James Maddison’s fine effort saw City come from behind at a sun-drenched King Power Stadium.

He said: “It was another big game at home, a game that we started losing, and a game that we come back. We won the game at the end with a few minutes to go, [thanks to] James [Maddison].

“But I could help with the goal. Again, I had my mum there, my girlfriend, so it was good to have their support for both and it was a special moment for me. It's a good thing to score and win and to have the three points.

“And then the next game, I think against Newcastle, I scored again and I had my mum there again! So, she has to come more often!”

An unforgettable night for City

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Ricardo Pereira
Ricardo Pereira

Toasting a special night with goalscorer Ben Chilwell at St. Mary's.

Those involved in the 25 October, 2019 clash with Southampton will forever remember what unfolded on a rainy night on the south coast.

Ricardo played from start to finish at St. Mary’s Stadium, as a glut of Foxes goals saw them win 9-0 against the Saints – setting a new Premier League record for the biggest-ever away win in the process.

“I think we were confident, we were in a moment,” Ricardo added. “We knew we wanted to win and we would do anything to win but, I speak about myself, I was expecting 9-0 and then the mentality of the team, scoring one, two, three and we keep going, keep working and with all respect from Southampton we keep going and doing our best and it was the perfect game for us and a very special game.

“That doesn't happen every day. We were playing well, we were counter pressing very well. They didn't have the chance to counter or to have the ball. Then we start to score one, two, three and then we feel it's not even half-time and we were winning.

“At half-time, I think it was five. So, you see the fourth goal, fifth goal and you think you can do something that never happened before.

“Then you keep going and, of course, you already won the game, but you know you can do even better if you can do the second half the same as the first... so that's what we did and I think it was a special game and everyone was happy and that's a game to keep in the memory, for sure.”

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