Ricardo Carvalho (born May 18, 1978 in Amarante,
near Porto), is a Portuguese
football player. He shares his birthplace with his colleague in
the Portuguese national team, Nuno Gomes. He plays as a central
defender for Chelsea F.C.
He came to prominence during the 2003-2004 football season,
during which he played for F.C. Porto. He gathered many plaudits
for his impressive performances in the Portuguese Superliga and
UEFA Champions League, both of which Porto won. He was voted the
best defender in the Champions League for 2003/2004.
Carvalho was considered one of the best defenders of the Euro
2004 Championship, and formed a strong partnership with Jorge
Andrade in the Portuguese defence. In the 2004 offseason, he was
pursued by several top European clubs, and was finally signed by
English big-spenders Chelsea for £19,850,000. At Stamford Bridge,
Carvalho joined his former manager Josť Mourinho and former
teammate Paulo Ferreira, both of whom were signed by Chelsea
earlier in the offseason. He perfomed excedingly well in his
first season with Chelsea and helped them win the Premier League.
However, the start of 2005/2006 has not been as smooth for
Carvalho, as he was publicly lambasted by Mourinho for comments
relating to his lack of match time. He has returned to favour,
though, and been a near-regular in the side since September, and
scored his second Chelsea F.C. goal in the 4-0 home win to Real
Betis in the Champions League. Carvalho continued his scoring
run in Europe by netting the second goal in Chelsea's 2-0 away
victory over RSC Anderlecht of Belgium, scoring from a Hernŗn
Crespo flick on which he blasted into the roof of the net.