Days after announcing his conversion to Islam, Brazilian footballer Sergio Ricardo Neves was spotted in Makkah performing Umrah as reported by StepFeed.
Ricardo, as he’s called in the region, is well-known for his career as a foreign footballer in Saudi Arabia. He’s played with many local teams such as Al-Ittihad and Al-Ahli.
Footage capturing him during his visit to the city’s Grand Mosque took the kingdom’s Twitter by storm over the weekend. In it, the sportsman can be seen dressed in white ihram garments (clothing worn by men for Umrah and Hajj).
Thousands were all praise for the footballer’s decision to visit the holy site and perform Umrah.
Many wished him well and hoped his visit to the mosque brings him happiness and peace as he starts his life as a Muslim.
— د. سالم عريجة (@SalemE) May 25, 2019
“Historic moments as Sergio Ricardo expresses his feelings over this first visit to Mecca’s holy site.” The best goal and the biggest win.”
— حسن السعدي (@hsn_440) May 26, 2019
“The best goal and the biggest win.”
During this year of #Ramadan one of the greatest brazilian professional players of the Saudi soccer league have converted to Islam this week. #SergioRicardo #سيرجيو #الاتحاد pic.twitter.com/rIPFqTo6jw
— عبد الرحمن الحمدان (@ABD_Alhamdan) May 22, 2019
الحمدالله والشكر لله
الكابتن سيرجيو ريكاردو اللاعب البرازيل الشهير نجم وهداف نادي الاتحاد
ويشهد بأن لا أله الا الله ويشهد بأن محمد رسول الله
جاء لزيارة جده في رمضان فدخل الإسلام
اليوم الأربعاء 17 رمضان 1440
دعواتكم للكابتن سيرجيو بكل خير pic.twitter.com/RHCsHiQmpN
— محمد سويد (@MohammedSawid) May 22, 2019
On Wednesday, Neves announced that he has become a Muslim in a video posted online by former Saudi footballer Mohammad Sawid.
“Alhamdullilah [thank God], now I am a Muslim. Alhamdullilah… I think you know this is the best decision I’ve made in my life,” he says.
The football star, who’s better known as Ricardo in the Arab world, spent four years playing for Jeddah-based club Al-Ittihad, the oldest football team in Saudi Arabia.
“After starting his Middle East football career in Turkey, Ricardo also spent time playing for two other Saudi clubs, playing for two years at Jeddah-based Al-Ahli and two years at Riyadh-based Al-Hilal, Al-Ittihad’s rival team,” The New Arab reported.
The player retired in 2010 after an expansive career which saw him play for teams across the region.
Sawid congratulated the Brazilian footballer on his decision to convert to Islam on Twitter.
“May God protect you my brother and accept your prayers,” he said.