Mamelodi Sundowns defender Ricardo Nascimento has explained his frustrations on the sidelines and how he reacted after receiving an offer from the Tshwane giants in 2016.
The 33-year-old player returned to the Brazilians starting line-up last January after recovering from a groin injury which he sustained prior to the start of the current campaign.
Nascimento completed his physiotherapy and rehabilitation in his home country, Brazil, and he returned to action against Angolan side Petro de Luanda in the Caf Champions League clash on January 25.
“I did my operation and rehab at home in Brazil. My recovery was great and I felt confident coming back that I could play at my best," Nascimento told the club's official website.
“I have played nine games this season, I feel good and happy – I missed football after six months on the sidelines. Training like this is good, but it’s not the same thing.
The tough-tackling player had just started building on his initial momentum when the PSL announced it would be suspending all matches due to coronavirus last March.
"I missed the ball and the pitch. It’s tough, I felt like I was picking up steam and hungry to add value to the team."
Nascimento, who has played in Brazil, Romania and Portugal, feels at home in South Africa, having recently become a father and he is feeling settled in his adopted home, nevertheless, he was sceptical about coming to Africa.
“I have spent four years here, South Africa is like my second home – SA was a lovely surprise. I came from Europe and Portugal where I had played for over six years," he continued.
“At first when I initially got the offer, I was sceptical – having not watched any PSL games but it’s been a great surprise.
“I think the League will kick-off, but the most important thing right now is the Coronavirus. We all need to be safe and then get back on the pitch."
The left-footed player has made over 100 appearances for Sundowns since joining the club from Brazilian outfit Atlético Monte Azul in July 2016.
Nascimento has won five major trophies with Masandawana and he is a goalscoring defender having netted 12 goals, most coming from the penalty spot.