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Mokwena lavishes praise on departing Nascimento: He’s a gentle giant!

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Nascimento, who turned 35 on Monday, signed for the Tshwane giants in July 2016 from Monte Azul in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Nascimento played 144 matches in all competitions for Masandawana, scoring 17 goals with two assists.

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He was part of four consecutive PSL title-winning campaigns as well as one CAF Super Cup and Nedbank Cup triumph. Nascimento has had to be deregistered due to Mamelodi Sundowns already having a full quota of five foreign players on their books.

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Mokwena has provided more details about Nascimento’s future, and while he didn’t want to officially comment on his departure, the co-coach did offer a glowing tribute.

“Ricardo Nascimento, ja, well, I’m sure the club will officially release a statement and I think that is only fair and proper,” Mokwena said after Monday’s win, as quoted by iDiski Times.

“Because the reality is when a loyal servant like Ricardo has served you with such distinction, it is only proper that you deal with his departure with the best possible dignity and respect for the profile and his contribution.

“He’s been nothing but a loyal servant. His performances on the pitch, speak only about a player that was always willing to do more than required of him.

“The qualities that he possessed will be very, very difficult to replicate, one or two to replace, so we’ve got our work cut out as a club to make sure that we get a player with the same sort of technical, tactical qualities, if not better.

“So that shows and speaks about his qualities as a football player, but over and above that, for me, I always say that good football players are only good if they are good human beings.

“And I don’t think I’ve got one bad word to say about Ricardo Nascimento. I don’t think anybody at the club has got a single bad word to say about Ricardo. A gentle giant, a humble soul, someone that’s always wearing a smile on his face, always prepared to do more than required, shows huge determination and perseverance.

“He’s had two very, very big surgeries, and those did not stop him from being able to recover and to serve this club, and when you have that type of mentality, because you have the right sort of human qualities, it helps you to become a very good football player.”

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