Thu, 28 Oct, 2021
Kuala Lumpur: With the start of the 2016 AFC Champions League Group Stage just around the corner, we take a closer look at Guangzhou Evergrande star Ricardo Goulart.
KEY PLAYER: RICARDO GOULART – Guangzhou Evergrande
AFC Champions League Record
Ricardo Goulart enjoyed tremendous success in 2015 after moving from Brazilian club Cruzeiro to southern China at the start of the year.
Individual awards including AFC Foreign Player of the Year, AFC Champions league MVP and Top Scorer all came the way of the talented 24-year-old as he helped Guangzhou Evergrande to domestic and continental championships.
On the continent, Goulart’s six goals in six games in the AFC Champions League group stage set Guangzhou on their way before his vital brace against Seongnam FC in the Round of 16 turned a 2-1 first leg deficit to a 3-2 aggregate win.
Although he didn’t add to his continental tally, Goulart remained a key contributor to Guangzhou’s progress to their second Asian title in three years.
IMPORTANCE TO TEAM
Despite leading Guangzhou’s scorers last year, Goulart is not an out-and-out striker and prefers to take up a position in the space between an opponent’s midfield and defence line.
Despite a more bustling, ungainly style the South American gives the defending champions a level of creativity that they have lacked since the departure of Argentine Dario Conca two years ago.
ONES TO WATCH
Captain for both club and nation Zheng Zhi continues to be the heart of the Guangzhou side alongside fellow China internationals Huang Bowen, who lit up last year’s AFC Champions League with a spree of superb strikes, and the ever-dangerous, attack-minded full-back Zhang Linpeng.