At a staggering 6"2, this "nice nice dougla boy" from Bon Air has etched his name into Trinidad and Tobago's history as one of our finest bred football talents. Ricardo Enrique John has lit up the school, youth and local professional leagues and is now maintaining that success at the USL level. A young man of tremendous humility and a permanent smile tattooed on, he has overcome his share of trials that have forced him to transform his mindset and strive for excellence, against all odds.
He has attributed his parents as sources of inspiration. After losing his mother at a tender age, his family structure became his career's provenance. "My childhood has been a bitter-sweet one. The death of my mother at such a young age affected my family a lot, but we have stuck together and were there for each other while growing up. He continued, " I think that made us stronger!" "I started playing football because of my dad," he enthusiastically shared. "Ever since I can remember, I've been following him around to his games. I picked up a love for the games from there."
The twenty-one year old named current T&T defender Sheldon Bateau as the player that he emulates. "I admire his heart and attitude on the pitch. He carries himself as a true professional."
Zuggy or Zig Zug, as he is popularly known as, has attained great success throughout his career. From coppingthe 2013 SSFL MVP and Player of the Year, to winning the Caribbean Cup with pro league giants Central FC, he is now with the Canadian based Toronto FC USL team and is on preseason with the MLS team. After leaving his alma mater St. Augustine Secondary School (Green Machine), he secured a scholarship to Virginia Tech. That would not be a lasting deal though, as his faith and belief in his abilities pushed him to higher levels
The multi-talented ace described his journey and time at Toronto FC, as the the best of his career thus far. "It has really opened my eyes to what being a real professional is like." He continued, "Being up close and personal with the likes of Jozy Altidore, Sebastien Giovinco and Bradley is really a great experience. "The desire to be professional is what motivated me most. I believe in myself! The people around me bekieved in me too, so I took a chance and it worked in my favour."
He insisted that in order to become a professional at any level in any sport, sacrifices need to be made. From liming to going boat rides before a game... It will be worth it in the end. "I sacrificed like any other athlete." He continued, "Being successful motivates me. Being able to make a difference and impact people's lives through football is what drives me the most." He has had the opportunity to record one of his greatest moments while on national duty, when he scored against Mexico at the Pan American games.
When he is not on official business, Ricardo enjoys a piping hot plate of his favourite food - Buss Up Shot and Curry. He stated that his goal in this 2017 season is to become the leading goal scorer on the team and help push the team to a play off spot. "I also aim to make the move up to the MLS team."
With eyes on a possible spot on the National Senior Men's football team, he is gunning for gold. Asked about New National coach, Dennis Lawrence's appointment, he stated, "I think it is a move in the right direction after Saintfiet's saga." He concluded, "Dennis Lawrence headed us to a World Cup once, I hope he can coach us to another."
Boasting of a whopping 26 goals to his name in one season for the Green Machine and leading them to East Zone and National Championships, there is no doubt that he can achieve this feat of success. The passion he possesses for the game is indescribable and infectious. He is unstoppable!