Ricardo Carvalho made his professional bow at Portuguese giants FC Porto over two decades ago. He had been in the club’s youth teams for some years before he made his debut for the senior team. He was an FC Porto player when he made his professional debut at Leca. He was on loan at lower league team Leca from FC Porto.
Ricardo Carvalho started the 2001/02 season at FC Porto as the third choice centre back behind the duo of Jorge Andrade and Jorge Costa but it was only a matter of time before he won a place in the starting XI. He replaced Costa at the heart of the FC Porto eventually forming a terrific partnership with Andrade. In total, he played 25 times for Porto in the league that season.
In the following season, Costa moved back to FC Porto after a five-month loan spell at English club Charlton Athletic, while Andrade left the Portuguese giants to sign for Deportivo La Coruna in the Spanish top flight. With new manager Jose Mourinho in charge, Ricardo Carvalho moved back to his status as the third choice behind Costa and Pedro Emanuel.
Ricardo Carvalhobroke into starting XI once again on the back of some excellent performances for FC Porto under Mourinho and he didn’t lose his place until the end of the season. He was excellent in the two games against Italian Serie A team Lazio in the UEFA Cup semis and as FC Porto beat Celtic 3-2 in the final to win the competition, his first international trophy. He was then named the player of the year at the end of that season for both his club and the Portuguese top flight.
Carvalho continued his good form for FC Porto into the 2003/04 season which ended with both the league title and the UEFA Champions League. He then moved to Premier League outfit Chelsea for €30m in the summer of 2004.