Lucas Ribeiro says decision to join Sundowns is the best for him
When serious interest from Chloorkop emerged, Mamelodi Sundowns sensation Lucas Ribeiro Costa turned to Google search.
In his first press conference since he arrived at the club in July, Ribeiro, who comes from Brazil, admitted he knew little about Sundowns and South Africa.
Since he arrived at the club, Ribeiro has been a hit with Sundowns fans with impressive performances in the DStv Premiership, Caf Champions League, MTN8 and African Football League (AFL).
He has scored crucial goals for the Brazilians in all competitions, but his blistering start was disrupted by an injury that saw him only return to action in the AFL final against Wydad Casablanca.
“ I didn’t know much about Sundowns when they first approached me,” he said as they finalised preparations for the start of the Caf Champions League group stages against Nouadhibou of Mauritania at Loftus on Sunday.
“But after a did a search on them and the country, I realised it was a good club with big ambitions to win things and that was part of what I was looking for.
“After my search on the club, I managed to have a Zoom meeting with the coach [Rulani Mokwena] and we discussed tactics, style of play, and he also further explained the ambitions of the club.
“It was a big thing for me because I bought into the idea and when I arrived here it was the same as what he explained to me in the earlier meeting. I arrived at a good group of people and I am in the best moment of my life.
“The decision to come to Sundowns was the best because I have tasted winning with the club and it gives me the desire to go for more titles with the club.”
Ribeiro is happy with the way he has acclimatised to the Premier Soccer League (PSL) but he was disappointed with the injury that stalled his good start to the campaign.
“I adapted quickly because I was received by good people, an excellent coach who encourages me to be the best player and to contribute to the group.
“He has been on my case by supporting and giving the courage to push harder and that has helped me adapt. From the moment I arrived, I felt at home, it was like I have [been] here for three seasons.
“The injury and being sidelined was a sad moment for me because it came towards the MTN8 final. It was was difficult for me to go through.
“But I am surrounded by a group of good coaches and players, they were there to offer emotional support. There was also the medical team helping me with the recovery programme so I can come back in. I did not go through the journey alone.”
Mokwena said Ribeiro has qualities to improve the squad.
“When I first saw him, he had qualities I thought will help the team get to the next level. When I watched him, he was not even playing at the centre of the pitch but as a winger on the right to cut inside and create goals. There were certain qualities I saw in him.”
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