For the disambiguation page, see Ricardo (disambiguation).

Ricardo Espadas (リカルド・エスパダス, rikarudo esupadasu) is the sweeper-keeper and forward from Mexico.

Description[edit | edit source]

He's a character who first appeared in World Youth chapter 41 (mentioned), World Youth chapter 49 (full appearance). In Olympic Mexico, he is registered both as a keeper and a forward.

Description[edit | edit source]

Born in the slums of Mexico City, Espadas had a difficult childhood but found joy and excitement through playing association football. He is old friends with Zaragosa, Garcia, Alvez, Suarez, and Lopez, known as the "Five Soldiers of the Aztec Sun", all of whom he played with. He was the goalkeeper in the small team they formed, but has shown his offensive prowess during his official matches by participating in attacks while still in goalie position, and being able to switch to forward for the first or second half.

Espadas has proven himself a no-nonsense player, often aggressive toward his opponents -- mostly those from better-off countries than Mexico, and especially Japan, as the Japanese were the ones who had donated to them the football he considers full of memories and therefore holds large amounts of sentimental importance. Espadas was very hostile toward Tsubasa Ozora upon their first meeting, seeing as Tsubasa was and is the ace and captain of his respective Japanese team. He spits on the old football and pops it by slamming it against the ground, challenging Tsubasa and Japan Youth directly. He looks down on players and people from or of better-off countries, particularly if they had and have a better financial situation than what he has been forced to live through all his life, stating that he is merely using football as means to make it further up in the world.

This can be seen as jealousy or envy, but it was a byproduct of Espadas's hatred for how the rich treated him and the other poor people living in the slums by giving them gifts or items, saying that they need to persevere and not "lose to poverty". This irritates him greatly, much more so than it does his five best friends, his contempt toward the rich and how they treated the poor strong. So, he was confused as of why Tsubasa was playing so hard against Mexico Youth despite having an injury, why he cares about football so much despite never having had to live through all that Espadas had lived through. After the match, when both he and Tsubasa are in a doctor's office, Espadas reveals that he doesn't really think any football is merely a tool, and that this sport is what he enjoys and loves most. His cold and hostile nature disappears during his talk with Tsubasa, realizing that he also loves football and also treats the ball as a friend, asking if he could have that ball he'd popped back because it is very important to him. When Espadas appears again in Rising Sun as a member of Olympic Mexico, he seems to be more open and good-natured than he was during his first appearance.

Espadas as a child, admiring the equipment from the store window

He has, however, proven that he is not so cold and harsh toward everyone - he is very close with his friends, Zaragosa, Garcia, Alvez, Suarez, and Lopez, whom he trusts greatly. He was willing to respect Garcia's decision to quit football by getting himself a red card during the match against Japan, not telling the others until it had happened, and playing even harder to show that Garcia's efforts (in temporarily incapacitating the Tachibana twins) were not in vain and that he could leave without regrets. Later, Alvez and Lopez join Garcia in leaving football to become lucha wrestlers. He respects his friends' decisions, and continues to move forward, aspiring to be the best he can as a goalkeeper, making himself somewhat of one of Tsubasa's many rivals. He has wanted to be a professional player ever since he was very young, even stealing from a sports store just to get a ball to play with his friends, but does not wish to push his wishes onto others.

Appearance[edit | edit source]

Espadas as a child

Upon his first introduction, Espadas is a teenage boy of relatively short stature, even shorter than Shingo Aoi, who is viewed as very short. However, Espadas is of average height in Mexico, standing at 165 cm. He has short hair, slicked back slightly - just enough to procure a tuft of hair at the front of his head, looking similar to but is not a pompadour. His appearance has changed little from that he had when he was a young child.

The color of his hair differs from depiction to depiction, but seems to be widely agreed to be either black or a very dark shade of brown. Espadas has a tanned skin tone, and brown eyes. Whether or not he has grown any taller by the time he is seen in the Madrid Olympics is unknown, but he still seems to be shorter than most of the other players. Whenever he is on the field as goalkeeper, Espadas has always worn the same gloves - white with blue and lavender lines on the back of the fingers with a blue arrow on the backs of his hands, a five-pointed star on either side of the tip.

The upper part of his orange and white jerseys

Throughout his appearances in the series, Espadas has worn four different jerseys. The most widely-known three are the ones explained during his match against Japan during the World Youth tournament.

One is white with three jagged lines across the chest, which are green, blue, and yellow, from top to bottom. The green of the collar extends on wide marks over his shoulders. His number, "1", is printed in black on the front. The second is the same as the white one, but the white is replaced by a rusty orange with longer sleeves that reach down to his mid-forearms. The third jersey is the same as the second with the marks on the shoulders, except all the lines and marks are black on dark grey, and the "1" is printed in white.

Espadas's three World Youth goalkeeper jerseys, as depicted in the manga

Each of these colors have a strategic reason - he may change from the orange jersey into either of the other two if he is no longer playing as he usually does (both offensive and defensive), while the other two, white on green and black on grey, mean he is either attacking or defending much more than the first half of the match respectively.

During the Madrid Olympics, he once again wears an orange jersey, but the three jagged lines have been replaced by two that more resemble lightning bolts. The top is dark blue, and the lower line is white. His number is printed in white. During the first half when he is playing as a forward, he wears the same jersey as all the other players.

Techniques[edit | edit source]

Main article: Ricardo Espadas/Techniques

Gallery[edit | edit source]

Main article: Ricardo Espadas/Gallery

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • His sweeper-keeper/forward playing style is based on real-life Mexican keeper, Jorge Campos
  • The jagged line pattern on all his uniforms was inspired by the Mexican keeper Jorge Campos in the 1990's
  • In Tatakae Dream Team, his base jersey is white.

External links[edit | edit source]

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