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By Thami Kwazi

Lifestyle Print Editor

Q&A with Bafana’s Ricardo Goss: From striker to goalkeeper

Bafana Bafana's Ricardo Goss speaks about the beautiful game, staying fit and how he went from striker to goalkeeper.

Currently on loan from Mamelodi Sundowns to SuperSport United, Bafana Bafana goalkeeper Stuart Ricardo Goss shares his dreams and lets us in on life on and off the field.

Inspirations: Who were your role models or inspirations growing up, both in football and in life?

Ricardo: Brian “Spiderman” Baloyi was my inspiration. I admired his style so much that I wanted to grow dreadlocks like him, but as a person of colour, our hair texture is different.

As captain, he wore bandanas as armbands, which inspired me to do the same. Iker Casillas also inspired me with his impressive game-reading skills.

Early Beginnings: Can you tell us about your football journey? When did you realise you wanted to pursue this as a career specifically as a goalkeeper?

Ricardo: I wouldn’t say I knew from the start that I would be a goalkeeper. Growing up, I played as a striker.

I started as a goalkeeper for Chesterville, where I grew up, teaching a family member how to be a goalkeeper while playing as a striker. I used winter gloves at that time.

Training Regimen: Can you walk us through a typical training day for you? How do you stay in peak physical condition? How does your training differ as a goalkeeper?

Ricardo: I train every day; being in peak physical shape is essential for us. I’m not afraid to put in extra work after team training. Dieting is crucial too, so I make careful decisions about what I eat.

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Career Highlights: What has been the most memorable moment of your football career so far, and why?

Ricardo: I have two memorable moments. The first was when I made the CAF Team of the Week while playing for Sundowns. The second was receiving a bronze medal at Afcon.

Balancing Life and Career: How do you manage to balance your professional career with personal life and family time?

Ricardo: Taking care of my body is the priority. Maintaining physical fitness allows my career to thrive when I’m in Johannesburg for the season. During the off-season, I return home to KZN to spend quality time with my family.

Diet and Nutrition: How important is diet in your training, and what does your daily meal plan look like?

Ricardo: Diet is vital for any professional sportsman; it aids recovery, which is paramount.

I don’t eat in the mornings; I only have lunch and dinner, but I’ll have a cappuccino here and there. I eat a substantial lunch after training and then have a lighter dinner.

Challenges: What has been the biggest challenge you’ve faced in your career, and how did you overcome it?

Ricardo: I’ve faced two significant challenges. The first was a Grade 2 hamstring injury. Overcoming it was tough because I initially feared re-injury when I returned to the pitch.

The second challenge was the lack of game time at Sundowns, which I addressed through a loan deal with SuperSport United.

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Mental Preparation: How do you prepare mentally for a big match? Do you have any pre-game rituals or routines, especially for tournaments like the African Cup of Nations?

Ricardo: Our preparation is consistent for every game, whether against Brazil or a smaller team. We analyse each opponent’s playing style and the conditions of the turf beforehand. Visualisation is key—I visualise the game before stepping onto the field.

Off the Field: What are some of your hobbies and interests outside of football?

Ricardo: I enjoy reading, hiking, and go-karting with my family. Off-season is precious for me to reconnect because, during the season, time with family is limited.

Future Plans: What are your goals and aspirations for the future, both in football and beyond?

Ricardo: One of my goals is to uplift the next generation through my foundation. I want to empower young people in Chesterville to pursue various professions, not just football, by providing resources and support.

Your Experience: What does it mean to you to play for Bafana Bafana, the national team?

Ricardo: My first cap for Bafana Bafana was against Lesotho in Lesotho during COSAFA. It was a surreal moment; I couldn’t believe I got the call-up. Playing in Afcon has been a dream come true.

Representing my country is an honour and a privilege.

It’s every athlete’s dream to play for their nation, and it has allowed me to see the world and experience places I never imagined. Bafana Bafana represents the pinnacle of football in our country—I think anyone would be thrilled to receive that call-up.

Supplied by Original Kasi Nerds

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