Two years ago, before a match against Independiente Santa Fe in the CONMEBOL Libertadores, the stadium announcer asked for a minute's silence to mark the death of Ricardo Oliveira. This came as a surprise to Ricardo, who was at the stadium and later played in the match for Santos, as the announcer had confused him with Kaneco, who had passed away after a battle with cancer. This is a competition which means so much to the striker: with his four goals against Danubio, he made it 18 goals in 27 Libertadores matches.
Oliviera is 38 years old and has been a professional since 2000. He was so good that Valencia quickly moved to snap him up. He shined at the LaLiga club alongside Pablo Aimar and the pair won the league in 2004 as well as the UEFA Cup (now Europa League). The following season he claimed the Copa del Rey with Real Betis. Those high level performances saw him secure a move to Milan, where he won the Champions League in the 2006/07 season.
Oliveira has scored more than 300 goals in his career. He usually makes the difference. However he came up against a formidable opponent in Federico Cristóforo, Danubio's goalkeeper, who made two crucial saves one-on-one with the striker. However the Brazilian veteran still managed to bag a brace against a keeper in fantastic form. The second of which was a goal all budding striker's should replicate: rising highest to head back across the goalkeeper into the opposition corner.
😱💥What a header! Ricardo Oliveira connected with the cross and guided his effort inside the far post to make it 2-1 to @atletico_en against @DanubioFC.pic.twitter.com/7sNZjejsLG — CONMEBOL Libertadores (@TheLibertadores) February 5, 2019
The striker believes his ability isn't simply down to training but also his faith. He's a pastor at a church. His evergreen performances saw him selected by Dunga for the Brazilian national team, at the age of 35, whilst he was still at Santos after winning the league in 2015 and 2016.
Oliveira fights for everything. As a boy he cleaned cars in order to help his mother and five siblings. His father passed away when he was a child. Even when he was forced to miss the World Cup through injury, he never stopped. He won't ever stop. He continues to make history and that's why, at the age of 38, he's still standing out from the crowd.
🙆♂️👌¡GO-LA-ZO! Ricardo Oliveira latches onto an inch perfect pass before calmly rounding the goalkeeper and slotting his effort into the bottom corner to make it 3-0 to @atletico_en.pic.twitter.com/lujCpJut8t — CONMEBOL Libertadores (@TheLibertadores) February 12, 2019