Former Mamelodi Sundowns defender Nascimento joins Royal AM

Former Mamelodi Sundowns defender Ricardo Nascimento has resurfaced at Royal AM who unveiled him as their new player on Thursday. The Brazilian has found a new home a few days after parting ways with Masandawana, After being released by Sundowns earlier this week, the 35-year-old continues his career in the Premier Soccer League.

This is after he turned down a non-playing role he was offered by the Brazilians.

“We are making our intentions very clear as to what is it that we want to achieve,” Royal AM announced on social media.

“Obviously we need to start by stabilising the defence and we cannot wait to play our first match. Welcome home Ricardo Nascimento.

He will be wearing shirt number 3 at the KwaZulu-Natal club.

Comfortable as a left-back or central defender, Nascimento will compete for a place in the Royal AM team against the likes of Mzwanele Mahashe, Thato Lingwati, Lesego Manganyi and Sello Matjila.

The Brazilian becomes the sixth player to be signed by Thwihli Thwahla since January 2022.

“Guys, I have yet another surprise for you. I’m trying to make sure the team Royal AM is strengthened,” said club owner Shauwn Mkhize as she unveiled the player.

“I’ve started with wingers, fast-paced. I went from the wingers to the strikers. And now I’m coming to the core, I’m strengthening my defence. Nascimento, bem-vindo ao [welcome to] Royal AM.”

He joins Royal AM who have a number of veteran players such as Elias Pelembe, goalkeeper Hugo Nyame, Ndumiso Mabena and Manganyi.

Nascimento had a late start to the season after arriving from his home country Brazil where he was recovering from an injury.

He then went on to feature in six league games for Sundowns.

The defender was, however, no longer a frequent starter at the Chloorkop club unlike the previous season when he was a key part of Sundowns’ defence.

Masandawana released him to free up their foreign player quota and accommodate Bolivia international Erwin Saavedra who landed in South Africa on Tuesday.

Here’s what the Brazilian had to say about his transfer.

“My departure from the Sundowns was due to a request from the club, which needed to open a foreigner spot in the team for this season, so it was time to say goodbye. I’m very happy to announce that I will be joining a new family here in South Africa, the Royal AM family,” said Nascimento.

“I’m very grateful to Mamelodi Sundowns for all these years I have worn this shirt and for all the titles and achievements we have been able to conquer together as a team. I would also like to thank President Patrice Motsepe for all the support he has always given to me and my family,”

“Thank you President Shauwn Mkhize for opening the doors of the club for me, for allowing me to wear another important shirt in South African football. I will do my best for Royal AM.”

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