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By Katlego Modiba

Football Journalist

Ribeiro hopeful of making Nedbank Cup final against Pirates

"I believe in the next few days that I will be training with the group,” Ribeiro said.

Mamelodi Sundowns attacker Lucas Ribeiro is hopeful of overcoming his hamstring injury in time for next month’s Nedbank Cup final against Orlando Pirates.

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The deadly Brazilian limped off against Golden Arrows in a DStv Premiership last week.

Tickets are already sold out for the much-anticipated game and Ribeiro is in a race against time for the crunch final against the Buccaneers that will take place at the Mbombela Stadium on June 1.

The 25-year-old missed Sundowns last two games as he recovers from the muscle injury.

“Yes, it’s true that I got injured. It’s been a week where I’ve been recovering and I’m happy with the recovery. I believe in the next few days that I will be training with the group and hopefully I will get some minutes before the league ends,” Ribeiro said in an interview on Radio 2000

Having joined Masandawana from Belgian second division club SK Beveren ahead of the 2023/24 season, Ribeiro has already scored 12 league goals for the champions. He is one of the favourites for the PSL Footballer of Season award.

“It’s been a great season for me and I’m grateful to have won the league because it’s great for us as players to win leagues. It adds more to the confidence and everything we work towards,” he said.

“It’s been a pleasure up to this point because I have already won two cups after the African Football League (AFL) and the league. It’s a great decision that I have taken to join the club.

“I’m hoping to win the final game which will make it three. I’ve never won the league in France and Belgium where I played. That also played a vital role in me coming to Sundowns and what was presented to me in terms of the objectives because they want to win everything.”

The left-footed forward came to South Africa as a relatively unknown commodity after spending four years in Belgium on the back of a short spell with French club Valenciennes FC. 

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He will be missing once again as Sundowns will be away to Stellenbosch FC on Saturday looking to extend their unbeaten run to 28 leagues games.