At the age of 16 years, ten months and 9 days, Rodrigo Ribeiro made his debut for the Sporting first team. At Champions. And home of English champions Manchester City.
“A boy’s dream… today is one of the best days of my life, to make my debut for the club of my heart and in this competition like the Champions League. One thank you is not enough for everyone who made this possible, especially Sporting and my family,” the Under-17 international striker said on social media.
It was indeed a dream night for the young striker, who has been at Sporting since 2017 and who last May, a month after turning 16, signed a professional contract with the Lions, valid for three seasons. On the second call – he had been an unused substitute with Penafiel, in the League Cup – Rodrigo Ribeiro was called up by Rúben Amorim in the 89th minute, replacing Islam Slimani.
Now on a big stage, like the Etihad, facing big stars of world football, one would expect that Rodrigo Ribeiro would ultimately want to swap his shirt with one of Manchester City’s stars. But no. The striker didn’t say goodbye to his shirt, the one that will go down in history as the first he used in the main lions team.