Credit: Анна Нэсси, CC BY-SA 3.0 GFDL, via Wikimedia Commons

Ricardo Quaresma

Professional footballer,


The portugal international champions the battle against Roma Racism (Romaphobia)

Who is he and what does he do?

Ricardo Quaresma is a Portuguese professional footballer who plays as a winger.
He began his career at Sporting CP and went on to play for Barcelona, Inter Milan, Porto (twice), Chelsea, Beşiktaş (twice), Al-Ahli Dubai, Kasımpaşa and Vitória de Guimarães.

Regarded as a mercurial talent, his tricks, including the rabona and trivela (a bending shot with the outside of his right foot) made him a popular figure among fans around the world.

A Portugal international for 15 years, Quaresma won 80 caps and played at three European Championships, including the victorious Euro 2016 campaign, and the 2018 World Cup.

His personal experience with discrimination and exclusion

Quaresma, Ibrahimovic, Pirlo and Chivu are only a few of the best-known characters who have been verbally abused with the words “Gypsy” or “Tzigane” in a pejorative way.

The downside is represented by the experiences which made him feel like a victim of anti-gypsyism: “I was always guilty in the eyes of others. There are people who say racism does not exist, but unfortunately it’s not like that at all.

One day a coat disappeared at school. The parents there soon began to say it certainly had to be the gypsy. Later, the truth came to light and they realised I didn’t have anything at all to do with it. I’m proud of what I am.”

The shadow of racism has also chased after him in his professional career: “In the world of football, I have a reputation for many things. But I have never smoked. I have neither drunk nor tried any drugs. But since I’m from a poorer neighbourhood and a gypsy…”

How he got rid of it

When he was playing for Porto, Quaresma accused the fans of Nacional de Madeira of racism in 2014: “They were calling me gypsy and many other names throughout the game…” and he admitted that he lost control after a verbal fight with two opponents, after having missed a penalty kick and criticising the referees: “It looked as if I had killed half the world’s population; I did not set a good example, but everyone makes mistakes.”

His inspiration for you

Quaresma, also known as ‘the Gypsy’, has not cowered when relating the racism he endured when he was just a kid. The Portuguese footballer talked openly about it in an interview with Daniel Oliveira for the TV “I always felt they called me gypsy to hurt me. But they were deceiving themselves. I’m proud of it. There are no happier people.”


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