“You are going to leave Bombo Titi laughed. The Brazil coach had just finished his media duties for the evening, and his espresso cup ran out. “I won’t be able to hug Richarlison?” He said disappointed. Brazil’s match-winner was handcuffed in anti-doping, awaiting nature’s call.
“I’m trying to pee, it’s hard,” Richarlison said, though he didn’t let time pass.
“I was able to contact us and see how it is,” Richarlison revealed. Neymar had buried his head in his yellow-green shirt to hide tears after spraining his right ankle, “tricking” Tite into playing through the pain barrier for another 11 minutes against Serbia. “I told him to put some ice on him,” said Richarlison, as if he were a member of the Brazilian medical staff.
Although Tite is confident that Neymar will “continue to play in the World Cup”, past injuries in this competition are a sore subject in his career and will keep him at the same level.
Richarlison promised to swing by his Westin hotel room before bed. “When I get to the hotel,” he said, “I’ll go see how he’s doing.” Richarlison probably won’t sleep, it’s unlikely that his championship goal-scoring fanfare will fade away a short bus ride from Lucille.
“I think it was a beautiful goal,” he said. “I’ve already scored a goal like that for Fluminense and Everton. Today I had the chance to score an acrobatic goal, probably one of the most beautiful goals of my career. It was a difficult match so I think it was one of the most beautiful matches of my career.” Scissor kicks are a Richarlison trademark, after all. is even single record At a training camp in Turin last week.
“It’s the result of practice,” Farid said in the mixed zone. “It’s not easy to get there and score. It’s the result of his training and the whole group.”
With practice comes mastery. In the first half against Serbia, the score was still 0-0, Richarlison gathered his teammates around him and said something needed to change. “I told them I needed a ball and I arrived, I was ready and I managed to score.”
The first was to tap in after Vanja Milinkovic-Savic blocked Vinnie Jr.’s shot. The second is something else. Earlier this week, Richarlison’s teammate Pedro, a contender for the Brazilian’s starting striker role, said the Tottenham Hotspur forward has the essência do brasileiro – the essence of a Brazilian. This goal proved it.
On the metro heading to the match, there were fans from all over the world heading to Lusail to watch Brazil. The idea that they are playing football as it should be played with flair and skill has a negative impact on the imagination.
Wealthy Qataris in Brazil wanted to show their children what football meant. Richarlison’s goal was exactly that, as he credited the Brazilian quintessential look to Pele and Garrincha in 1958.
It started with an outside foot pass from Vinicius Jr. Richarlison then stunned the ball with his left hand, lifted the ball high in the air, put his hand on the ground and curled his right foot on it, Capoeira style, connecting with a shot. Yet Milinkovic-Savic naked.
As with his first goal, the entire Brazilian bench jumped out of the hole and sprinted towards the corner flag to celebrate with him and the rest of the team.
Even Tete got carried away. “Sometimes feelings can’t be explained,” he said. “It’s feelings.” Dressed in a cobalt blue suit, the 61-year-old wanted to convey “the amount of work behind this goal”.
And he spoke of physiotherapists, who are now working on Neymar, who helped get Richarlison back to fitness after the calf injury he sustained against former club Everton in mid-October.
Richarlison was “afraid,” panicking that it might derail the World Cup. Tete was worried too.
When Gabriel Jesus was sent off in the 2019 Copa América final against Peru, potentially jeopardizing Brazil’s chances of winning the tournament, Richarlison stepped in and scored the match-killing penalty.
He was the leading scorer of the 2020 Olympics when Brazil won the gold and Brazil’s top scorer in 2022. “He’s like a professor (Tite),” Richarlison reminded everyone Thursday night. “Smells like” goals. This is why he was chosen in place of the in-form Jesus at Arsenal.
Trying to explain Serbia’s 2-0 defeat, their legendary coach Bexi Stojković said: “We are not Brazilians with 200 million people (to choose from). We are a small nation.” If Dusan Vlahović and Filip Kostic are injured and Aleksandar Mitrović isn’t fully fit, that’s a problem.
Tite, on the other hand, was babbling about his options, in Qatar and the options he had left at home such as Copa Libertadores winning striker Gabriel Barbosa, Roberto Firmino, Matheus Cunha and Hulk. It underscores the competition Richarlison faced to make the No. 9 shirt his own.
It is one in 200 m. “It’s a child’s dream come true,” Richarlison smiled.
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(Photo: Marcus Gilliar – GES Sportfoto / Getty Images)