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16 goals & 8 assists: Rulani Mokwena makes surprising claim about Lucas Ribeiro

Mamelodi Sundowns head coach Rulani Mokwena has made a surprising claim about the star player Lucas Ribeiro’s debut season in SA’s elite league.

Ribeiro joined Sundowns ahead of the current campaign, coming from Belgian second-tier side SK Beveren.

The Brazilian international hit the ground running in the PSL, as he didn’t need more time to adapt to the new league. Already, he has clinched two titles with the Tshwane giants: the inaugural African Football League title [AFL] and the DStv Premiership.

In addition, Sundowns are in the Nedbank Cup final and will face Orlando Pirates at a sold-out affair on Saturday, 1 June in Mbombela.


Lucas Ribeiro during Mamelodi Sundowns match in the DStv Premiership
Lucas Ribeiro

Soweto-born mentor Mokwena believes Ribeiro is yet to reach his peak despite being the PSL Player of the Season contender following a great debut campaign. The Sundowns coach says there is room for improvement, and Ribeiro has a lot to offer the team.

Currently, the 25-year-old has scored 16 goals and provided eight assists from 35 matches in all competitions.

In the race for the Golden Boot, the talented attacker is third on the charts after netting 12 goals. He’s trailing Orlando Pirates star Tshegofatso Mabasa by three goals and Stellenbosch FC ace Iqraam Rayners by two goals with three matches left to wrap-up the season.

“I don’t think we’ve seen the best of Lucas Ribeiro even though I think he’s the close contender for the PSL Footballer of the Season,” said Mokwena.

Mokwena further listed the players he believes have done well this season, and they are top contenders for the Player of the Season award.

These are namely Sundowns trio Ronwen Williams, Marcelo Allende and Teboho Mokoena, Orlando Pirates star Patrick Maswanganyi and Jayden Adams of Stellenbosch FC.

“I honestly think in my opinion that [top contenders for the Player of the Season], I said even before it’s Ronwen Williams, Marcelo Allende and Teboho Mokoena.

“Then you have to comment on the contribution of Patrick and maybe Jayden. But the reality is the level of Ronza, the level of Tebza, the level of Marcelo Allende and the level of Ribeiro have been outstanding for me. Just a bit of patience will help,” he added.

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