In an exclusive interview with LeicestershireLive, Simpson looks back at his eventful time as a City player
Leicester City full-back Ricardo Pereira is hoping that his stellar form this season results in a recall for Portugal.
The 25-year-old has been one of the revelations of the 2018-19 Premier League season, ending the campaign with two goals and six assists.
Despite being named in Portugals 2018 World Cup squad, Pereira has been overlooked by the national team in recent months, but he does not think that playing for Leicester, rather than one of Europes elite clubs, was the reason for him missing out.
When asked if he thinks he wouldve played more for Portugal had he been turning out for Barcelona, Juventus or Inter this season, he told Goal: “These are just the choices made by the coach.
“I do my job here, I always stand ready for the national team. But there are very good players in very big clubs that play the same role as me; [Barcelonas Nelson] Semedo, [Juventuss Joao] Cancelo or [Inters] Cedric Soares. My goal remains the same, I tasted the national team and I only think about being back there.
“It is true that after being a champion with Porto and playing in the Champions League [in 2017-18] that allowed me to be in the squad for the World Cup. And it is true that Leicester are not at the same level because there is no Champions League and the club is not among the biggest in the league.
“But we can see things in a different way. With Leicester in the Premier League I play big matches every weekend, there are big games all the time. There is also a lot of exposure so no, I think the explanation is elsewhere.”
His impressive performances for the Foxes could result in admiring glances from some of Europes top clubs over the summer, and the former Porto defender is not ruling out a move away from the King Power Stadium.
Pereira has revealed that he could be interested in a move to a Champions League club in the summer, insisting that he aims to play in the “most beautiful competitions”.
He said: “Honestly I dont think about it because I feel good in Leicester. But you never know what can happen with football.
“I did not talk about my future with the bosses [at Leicester]. Like all players I dream of playing in the most beautiful competitions. There will probably some opportunities this summer and we will decide with the club what is best for everyone.
“Its amazing to be rewarded in my first season [Pereira claimed Leicesters Player and Players Player of the Season awards], for me and for my family it makes us very proud.
“It rewards all the work done this year and of course I am happy. And then, when we look at the history of recent years and the names of those who had the trophy, its pretty good for me!”
Pereira also discussed the tragic passing of club owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, who died after the helicopter he was on board crashed outside the King Power Stadium in October 2018.
He added: “It was very complicated, everyone loved him at the club and in the city. He was someone very kind, always attentive and generous.
“We were all shocked and they were very difficult weeks for the club. The group was affected but it allowed us to come together even more and move forward.”