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Mamelodi Sundowns

Downs Sacrifice Big Name For Saavedra

Word reaching the Siya crew is that Mamelodi Sundowns have sacrificed a big name to accommodate new signing Erwin Saavedra.

As per the NSL rules, all Premier Soccer League clubs can register a maximum of five foreign players at any given time – and the Brazilians had already exhausted their quota prior to recruiting the Bolivian international last month.

Those five spots at Chloorkop belonged to: Divine Lunga (Zimbabwe), Gaston Sirino (Uruguay), Peter Shalulile (Namibia), Pavol Safranko (Slovakia) and, at the very last minute, Ricardo Nascimento (Brazil).

Soccer Laduma has been informed that it’s fellow South American Nascimento who has become the sacrificial lamb and had the remainder of his contract terminated early by the club to allow Saavedra to come in.

Nascimento, the centre back who turns 35 next week, was initially meant to leave Sundowns at the end of last season already, but a crisis to get an adequate replacement forced the Tshwane giants to recall him.

His contract would have officially expired in June.

Siya sources at the club have informed the crew that Nascimento has in fact, stopped training with the first team, although the door is open for him to remain in SA and stay fit using the club’s facilities if he wishes.

It is possible to register him as a local player, but that is a tedious process and he would have to prove that his earning capacity allows him to hold a permanent residency permit. 

This week, Downs co-coach Manqoba Mngqithi told journalists at the Nedbank Cup media launch that Saavedra had indeed been registered for the CAF Champions League with the group stages fixtures resuming this month.

Scroll through the list of some of the South American players that have played for Downs! 

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