“You want to leave Pombo Alone here,” Tite said with a laugh. The Brazil coach had just finished his media duties for the night and had run out of his espresso cup. “I won’t be able to hug Richarlison? he said disappointed. Brazil’s race-winner is strapped into anti-doping controls, waiting for Mother Nature to call.
“I’m trying to pee and it’s hard,” Richarlison said, though he didn’t let the time go to waste.
“I can call Ney and see how he is doing,” revealed Richarlison. Neymar, who buried his head in his yellow and green jersey to hide tears after spraining his right ankle, “tricked” Tite into playing 11 minutes in a pain barrier against Serbia. “I told him to put some ice on it,” Richarlison said, as if he were a Brazilian medic.
While Tite believes Neymar will “continue to play in the World Cup”, past injuries in this tournament have been a lingering theme in his career and will keep him in shape.
Richarlison promised to check out his room at the Westin before going to bed. “When I get to the hotel, I’ll go and see how he is,” he said. Richarlison probably won’t sleep, as it’s unlikely to get excited about scoring goals during the short bus ride from Lusail.
“I thought it was a beautiful goal,” he said. “I’ve scored goals like this for Fluminense and Everton. Today I had the chance to score an acrobatic goal and it was probably one of the most beautiful goals of my career. It was a tough game, so I think it was one of the best games of my career.” After all, scissor kicks are a Richarlison trademark.he even into one A training camp in Turin last week.
“It’s just practice,” Fred said in the mixed zone. “It’s not easy to get there and score. It’s a result of his training and the whole team.”
Practice makes perfect. At half-time against Serbia, with the score still 0-0, Richarlison gathered his team-mates around him and said something needed to change. “I told them I needed a ball, the ball arrived, I was ready, I scored.”
The first was a follow-up after Vanja Milinkovic-Savic fired Vini Jnr. The second is something else. Earlier in the week, Richarlison’s team-mate and contender for Brazil’s starting striker, Pedro, said the Tottenham Hotspur striker had the essence of a Brazilian – the essence of a Brazilian. This goal proves it.
On the subway to the game, fans from all over the world went to Lusail to watch the Brazil game. The idea that they should play football with flair and skill is enduring, it’s imaginative.
Wealthy Qataris wearing Brazil jerseys want to show their kids what football is all about. That was Richarlison’s aim, the embodiment of the Brazilian ideal going back to Pele and Garrincha in 1958.
It started with an outside cross from Vinicius Jr. Richarlison stunned the ball with his left foot, held it high, with one hand on the floor and spun with his right foot, capoeira style, A hook shot past the bereaved Milinkovic-Savic.
As with his first goal, the entire Brazil bench jumped off the bench and rushed to the corner flag to join him and the rest of the team in celebration.
Even Tite was taken. “Sometimes it feels unexplainable,” he said. “They’re feelings.” The 61-year-old, in a cobalt blue suit, wanted to convey “how much work goes behind this goal.”
He spoke of the physio now working on Neymar, who had helped Richarlison get back in shape after suffering a calf injury against his former club Everton in mid-October.
Richarlison is “scared” that it could derail his World Cup run. Teeter was also worried.
When Gabriel Jesus was sent off in the 2019 Copa America final against Peru, potentially jeopardizing Brazil’s chances of winning the match, Richarlison came on and scored the game-ending penalty.
He was Brazil’s top scorer when it won the 2020 Olympics and Brazil’s top scorer in 2022. He “smelled” the goal. That’s why he was chosen over Arsenal’s in-form Gabriel Jesus.
Explaining Serbia’s 2-0 defeat, their coach, the legendary Piksi Stojkovic, said: “We are not Brazil with 200 million people (to choose from). We are a small country.” If Dusan With Vlahovic and Filip Kostic injured and Aleksandar Mitrovic not fully fit, that’s the problem.
Tite, on the other hand, is blah blah blah blah blah blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. Nia and Hulk. It underscores Richarlison’s efforts to make the No. 9 jersey his own game.
He is one in 200 meters. “It’s a kid’s dream come true,” laughs Richarlison.
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(Photo: Markus Gilliar – GES Sportfoto/Getty Images)