Brazilian midfielder Everton Ribeiro has been a vital cog in United Arab Emirates-based side Al Ahli's midfield ever since his arrival from Brazilian side Cruzeiro in 2015.
The 27-year-old, once heavily linked with Manchester United, went on to play another crucial role for Al Ahli when they played Saudi Arabian side Al Taawoun away at Buraidah. His starring role meant that Al Ahli would claim a 3-1 away victory that would propel them to the top of Group A in the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Champions League.
Deployed on the right wing of a 4-4-2, Ribeiro sent in testing deliveries throughout which wreaked havoc in the Al Taawoun defence. In fact, Ribeiro fashioned the first goal from a relatively non-threatening position deep on the right wing. His left-footed freekick was inch-perfect for Senegalese striker Makhete Diop to run onto and divert a finish past the Al Taawoun goalkeeper.
Though Al Taawoun threatened to come back and saw a penalty saved, Ribeiro came up with a stunning effort to kill the game off. It was a moment of individual genius from the midfielder. Having a received a free-kick near the byline down the right wing, Ribeiro went on to curl in a delicious left-footer from an almost impossible angle, leaving the Al Taawoun players flummoxed.
The Brazilian played almost 90 minutes in the game and enjoyed 70 touches on the ball. His passing was effective as well, maintainng a success rate of 72%.
He did well in helping his team nullify Al Taawoun attack as well, coming up with a tackle and two interceptions.
Of course, his return of a goal and an assist went on to highlight a very productive season Ribeiro has been enjoying. In fact, he has contributed four goals and provided seven assists for his team so far this season.
As Cosmin Olariou’s side romped to a 3-1 win which might just have helped Al Ahli almost clinch a top-two position in the group, Everton Ribeiro shone brightly. He is our Asian Player of the Week.