The Brazilian, who joined Downs a month ago from relegated Portuguese Primeira Liga side Academica, was briefly seen training with his teammates in preparation for their CAF Champions League Group B tie on Wednesday evening, before leaving midway through the session.
Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane later confirmed that the 29-year-old centre-back, who he has previously described as “a typical Thabo Nthethe”, had to rush off to the Department of Home Affairs to sort out his final paperwork, in order to complete his CAF registration in time.
“The plan was to [officially] unveil Ricardo today, but we apologise for [his absence],” said ‘Jingles’ during a media day at the club’s training base in Chloorkop on Monday morning.
“We had to make a decision because his police clearance number came from Brazil, which they need for his work permit, so he had to rush before they close at 12pm.
“We are trying to get him on the bench for the game on Wednesday because I think you know that Wayne Arendse is suspended – he got a second yellow [in the last match against Zamalek] – so we’re trying our best to get that sorted.”
Mosimane also confirmed that Ivorian Bangaly Soumahoro is set to partner captain Nthethe in central defence in the absence of the suspended Wayne Arendse.
“Bangaly is more likely to come to the party. Ricardo is not ready; he’s 60 percent there, which could give him 30 minutes with his experience,” he added.
“So he’s not ready [to start]. Bangaly is the preferred candidate because he played there when we played against AC Leopards, with Wayne Arendse, and we won 2-0 here at home.
“Bangaly has been in the system and he knows what’s expected. Maybe this one has a little bit more pressure, so let’s see how he does under pressure.”
The match between the Brazilians and The White Knights is scheduled to kick off at 7pm at the Lucas Moripe Stadium in Atteridgeville.