Richarlison the real leader of Brazil

The spectacular score in which Richarlison scored the second goal and completed a double in the victory of the Brazilian team 0:2 over Serbia, made the citizens of the country feel in the clouds. That goal will compete for the title of Qatar 2022 World Cup goal and cemented his status as a global star, but it certainly wasn’t the first time the Tottenham striker felt he was floating in the air.

“O Pombo” (the pigeon) is so called because of a choreographic piece he prepared in 2018 together with his friends to the tune of a song called “Dance of the Pigeon”, in which he performed movements from the flight of a bird. He liked the nickname, he therefore began to celebrate his goals in the same movement, and since then often uses the dove emoji on social networks.

The same song performed by MC Faísca is considered a hit in its own right, but Richarlison made it a real hit in Brazil. So much so that players trying to make their friends laugh in the dressing room got on chairs and performed the “pigeon dance” in an attempt to imitate the star of the national team.

“A dove without a wing”, read the headline of the newspaper ‘Extra’ the day after the victory. In ‘Correo do Pobo’ it was written “the soar of the pigeon” and in the Journal de Brasilia it was written “a great goal that will go down in history”.

Indeed, the feeling is not only that Brazil is returning to its greatness, but also that it has a new superstar, both on and off the field. Neymar may be the most famous star of the Selção, but in the eyes of many, the 25-year-old Richarlison, who has bombed 9 goals in his last seven games for the national team, is the true representative of the Brazilian people and the player most associated with the image of a leader.

Richarlison (Reuters)

Richarlison is not only a famous soccer star, but also known for his political involvement and his left-wing positions and as one who often speaks out on issues such as the fight against racism, the importance of getting vaccinated against Corona and other social issues.

For example, during the Corona crisis when many died because of the high morbidity, he criticized the government led by the previous president Jair Bolsonaro. At the same time he was appointed a special ambassador for research and operations of the University of Sao Paulo to fight the epidemic. As part of that program, Richarlison auctioned off the shoe he played in in the 2019 Copa America semifinals and donated the money to the cause.

When morbidity increased in the city of Manaus in northern Brazil and many died there after the government confiscated the delivery of oxygen cylinders there, the footballer donated oxygen cylinders from his own money to the local medical services and at the same time attacked Bolsonero who claimed that there was no need to use masks. In one of the tweets he published, he criticized footballers who refuse to receive vaccinations and therefore endanger their friends in the dressing room.

Richarlison while the narrator (Reuters)Richarlison while the narrator (Reuters)

During the riots that broke out in the United States after George Floyd was found dead as a result of the violence of a police officer who arrested him in 2020, Richarlison expressed his anger at the oppression of black people, as he did after the death of Joao Pedro, a 14-year-old boy who was killed During a police operation in Rio de Janeiro.

In 2021, he expressed his anger at the death of Joao Alberto Freitsch, a 40-year-old man who died during a violent confrontation with security personnel in a parking lot in the city of Porto Alegre: “They beat a man and killed him in front of the cameras, violence has lost its shame. He and George Floyd They just died.”

Richarlison suffered racism himself. When he was celebrating a goal he scored in a 1:5 victory over Tunisia in a friendly match in Paris last September, a banana was thrown at him from one of the stands. After the game he commented: “The punishment for this should be severe. I continued to celebrate and then play, but whoever did it should be punished so that it doesn’t happen again.”

In 2020, he dedicated a 0:2 victory over Uruguay to the residents of areas that suffered from a lack of electricity supply to their homes and expressed his support for them. In another case, when British journalist Dom Phillips and his Brazilian colleague Bruno Ferreira disappeared in the Amazon (and were later found dead), Richarlison wrote on social media: “I urge the authorities to do everything to find them.” Brazilian journalist Pedro Borges said of him: “He does not ignore the suffering of the people and understands very well the role he has in our country.”

Brazil national team players celebrate at the end (Reuters)Brazil national team players celebrate at the end (Reuters)

“I am the mouth of the people who were not as lucky as me”

If Neymar sparked controversy when he expressed support for Jair Bolsonaro during the election campaign, Richarlison symbolizes for the left the upheaval that has recently taken place following the victory of Lula da Silva at the polls. He not only openly supported the president-elect, but, as mentioned, expressed opposition to Bolsonero long before the elections.

The leftists criticized Neymar and claimed that the right appropriates the national team shirt when his supporters wear it in their rallies. Richarlison expressed himself on the same controversial topic: “As a fan and as a player I do everything to spread my identity around the world. We are all Brazilians and we have the same blood.”

In the last few days, after the spectacular pair against Serbia, Richarlison was of course praised by the politicians from the left. Chief among them is de Silva, who posted a photo of himself and his wife wearing the national team shirt and wrote: “Proud to wear the green-yellow shirt again. Let’s win the cup for the sixth time after 20 years.” On the other hand, Bolsonaro, who has remained silent since losing the elections, has not commented on the national team’s games so far.

Brazilian support for Bolsonaro (Reuters)Brazilian support for Bolsonaro (Reuters)

The social activist in the slums in Brazil, Rene Silva, commented on the fact that Richarlison is an inspiration for the young people: “He is an idol, after all the suffering we went through, he provided us with a moment of hope.”

In 2020, Richarlison told why he makes sure to be so involved in social issues: “When something important happens, I express my opinion. I know that as someone who plays in the national team and in the Premier League, people listen to what I say and it affects the politicians. I act as a paw for the local people where I arrive. They want to express their opinion but their voices are not heard. I don’t need to belong to any party to know that it is wrong to have electricity for 22 days and other essential services such as food, health, education and housing. I am doing this so that Brazilians who did not have Lucky people like me will receive a minimum of respect and equality.”

His parents bought him a football so he wouldn’t sell drugs

Richarlison de Andrade was born on May 10, 1997 in Nueva Venezia in the state of Espirito Santo in eastern Brazil and grew up in one of the favelas (slums) of the city located 765 km north of Rio de Janeiro (about 12 hours’ drive). When he was a child of friends His sold drugs to survive, but his father who worked as a construction worker and mother who sold ice cream bought him a soccer ball to keep him out of trouble.

Fables (Reuters)Fables (Reuters)

Richarlison grew up in difficult conditions as the eldest son in a family of five children (he has two sisters and two brothers). When he was 7 years old his parents divorced and his father moved to live in the state of Minas Gerais. In order to help provide for the household, he began at the age of 11 to help his mother sell ice cream and his grandfather with agricultural work.

He often went to bed at night when he was hungry and later said in an interview with The Sun: “My friends sold drugs because they saw it as easy money, but I knew they were wrong so I sold ice creams and chocolates and washed cars to help my family.”

The poor boy used to play soccer barefoot in the streets of the favela when he and his friends built the goals from the shoes they took off. In one of the cases, when he was 14 years old, a drug dealer came to the scene who suspected him and his friends of stealing from him and pointed a gun at him. “He said that if he came across us again he would shoot us,” she recalled. “I was very scared, because if he pulled the trigger I would be finished.”

Neymar and Richarlison celebrate (Reuters)Neymar and Richarlison celebrate (Reuters)

The technical, fast and tall striker (1.84 meters) dreamed all these years about a professional career that would get him out of trouble, but when he was 16 years old he almost gave up on the dream after being rejected by several teams. In one case he went to Belo Horizonte to try out for one of the clubs and spent all the money he had on that trip. After receiving a negative answer he did not have enough money to return home and this almost made him give up and stop playing football.

The big change for the better came when he noticed him discovering talents and bought him a pair of shoes and took him to America Miniero, the team where he came up to the seniors in 2015. He played one season in the second division in Brazil, before moving at the age of 19 to Fluminense, the big club from Rio de Janeiro.

Brazil national team players (Reuters)Brazil national team players (Reuters)

In the ‘Tricolor’ uniform, Richarlison made great progress, scored 19 goals in 67 games and came with the team to second place in the Karaoke League 2017 (after Flamengo) while being selected for the 11th of the season. In the same year he reached the quarter-finals of the ‘Sudaamericana’ cup with Fluminenza and was bought by Watford. In 2018, Everton bought him for 50 million pounds (it was the most expensive signing in their history) and he managed to score 53 goals in 153 games in four seasons. At the same time, he became the senior striker and coach Tita’s favorite in the Brazilian national team.

Last summer, Tottenham bought Richarlison for £60 million. In a 2-0 victory over Nottingham Forest last August, in which he played for the first time in the Roosters’ uniform, his performance drew criticism and claims of arrogance and disrespect on the part of the commentators, especially because he bounced a ball on his leg during The game and taunting the opponent’s players.

Richarlison scored his first two goals in the Tottenham uniform in a 2-0 win over Marseille in the Champions League and cried as he went to celebrate with his family in the stands. “My dad came here and saw it, we were all excited after everything he did for me,” he explained in an interview after the game.

Richarlison celebrates (Reuters)Richarlison celebrates (Reuters)

Antonio Conte’s players finished first at home that also included Eintracht Frankfurt and Sporting Lisbon and will compete in the round of 16 in a doubleheader with Milan (February 14 in Italy and March 8 in London). So far these have been Richarlison’s only two goals in a Tottenham shirt. He then missed three weeks due to injury and has yet to score in the Premier League. In the Brazilian national team, Richarlison has scored 19 goals and assisted 7 in 39 appearances and was a part of winning the Copa America 2019. In the same tournament, he scored the third goal on a penalty kick in a 1:3 victory over Peru in the final.

With the Olympic team of Brazil, Richarlison won the gold medal at the Tokyo 2020 Games. In the same tournament, he scored a hat trick in a 4:2 victory over Germany and finished as the top scorer with five goals despite missing a penalty in the 2:1 victory over Spain in the final. Injured Neymar will not play against Switzerland on Monday (6pm) in Brazil’s second World Cup match in Qatar, but Selecao fans know they can count on Richarlison to help secure a place in the last eight. Coach Tita has known this for a long time and has not stopped believing in him even in the most difficult moments.

Last October Richarlison suffered from an injury, he was sidelined for three weeks and his participation in the World Cup was in great doubt. After the pair against Serbia, he said that he cried when he didn’t know if he would be eligible: “God saw how much I’m trying and how important it is to me.” As mentioned, the coach waited patiently for him, continued to believe in him and received the reward in a big way.

That victory over Serbia not only strengthened the power of the Brazilian team, which is considered the favorite in the World Cup after not losing in its last 16 games. It is true that success in the qualifiers and preparatory games does not indicate anything, nor did Argentina’s 36 consecutive games without a loss help them avoid an embarrassment against Saudi Arabia, but still – Brazil does not currently feel a particularly great fear in view of Neymar’s injury.

Richarlison and Vinicius celebrate (Reuters)Richarlison and Vinicius celebrate (Reuters)

Everyone knows that Salceo has other tools besides Paris Saint-Germain’s player Richarlison is one of the most important of them. The atmosphere in the camp is really not like in the 2014 World Cup. Then, as I remember, Neymar was injured against Chile in the quarter-finals, the media anxiously reported on the helicopter that arrived at the camp to fly him to the hospital and his absence was one of the reasons for the 7:1 humiliation against Germany in the semi-finals. Besides Richarlison, Brazil also has Vinicius and Rafinha on the wings in the attack and Rodrigo and Gabriel Jesus on the bench.

Richarlison not only excels on the pitch and is socially involved, he also has a big mouth that makes headlines, both in England and at the World Cup. While playing for Everton, when commentator and former stopper Jamie Carragher accused him of faking while lying on the grass and called on him to get up and keep playing, Richarlison responded on Instagram: “Clean your mouth before you talk about me and my team. I don’t respect you.” He recently sparked outrage from women’s organizations when he claimed that he would like to act like Ronaldinho after he retires: “I will buy myself an island that will have lots of girls on it.”

Jamie Krager.  Richarlison does not remain indebted (Reuters)Jamie Krager. Richarlison does not remain indebted (Reuters)

In recent days, Richarlison came to Neymar’s defense, after the PSG star published a photo of the team’s shirt with six stars above the symbol to signal the expected sixth victory, and was subsequently criticized by a German journalist who called him an “arrogant” in the Bild newspaper ‘.

Richarlison wrote in response about the journalist: “This man is stupid, I don’t know him and I don’t want to know him. Neymar just wants to succeed and that’s what he wanted to express. They are arrogant, we only dream of winning and we will do everything to achieve it.”


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