Tonight in Tokyo, Japan following the conclusion of the IBSA Blind Football World Championship final which saw Brazil beat Argentina in extra time, Brazilian striker Ricardo Alves was named Golden Ball winner. Alves scored the winning goal for Brazil. Alves captained his squad and was also presented with the trophy during the gold medal award ceremony.
Nicknamed Ricardinho, the strikers was one of the leading scorers in the competition. In group play, he scored a goal in Brazil’s 3 – 1 victory against Colombia. He scored a pair of goals for Brazil in their 4 – 0 victory over Germany in the quarterfinals.
The Porto Alegre native lost his sight when he was six years old. Like many Brazilians, he took up the sport at a very young age, and played the game with his brother. He continued to play after losing his sight. Alves had his first international cap for Brazil at the age of sixteen, scoring three goals in his first appearance, a 3 – 0 victory against Paraguay. At the age of nineteen, he led the 2007 Parapan American Games in scoring with nine goals in the tournament. At the 2008 Summer Paralympics in the gold medal match, Ricardinho scored an important equalizer and his team eventually went on to win. He was a key part of the 2012 Brazilian team that won gold at the 2012 Summer Paralympics.