It’s not easy to criticize Richarlison. Brazil’s number 9 is year after year the winner of the national team’s Gente Boa Trophy. He stops on the street to console a fan after a World Cup defeat; defends environmental causes on social media (except at Neymar’s mansion); runs a pro-vaccine campaign; he always seems to be on the right side of history (despite having marked his body with a Neymar tattoo). But… he doesn’t score.
It’s never a good sign when the team’s number 9 doesn’t score a goal in a 5-1 home win and leaves the field crying, as happened with the boy at Mangueirão. He was embraced by his teammates and the fans. Great. But…
Of course, the simple fact that this humble scribe comments that Richarlison doesn’t score a goal increases the chance of him scoring three this Tuesday (12), against Peru (I’ll be cheering him on), but the recent history doesn’t encourage him.
Thinking further, the less recent history was also bothersome. The striker has been in decline since joining Tottenham in the Premier League. He had a great flash in his debut at the Qatar Cup, with the most beautiful goal of the tournament, but it was nothing more than that.
In the London team, he should now experience his great moment, as the club sold Harry Kane. However, the Espírito Santo started the season as a starter, did not produce and was already retired. He lost the spot to intrepid Israeli Manor Solomon. And Spurs even bought another striker at the end of the window, which means that Richarlison’s draft is in more danger.
So why does non-interim/non-assistant Fernando Diniz call up the young man for the national team? Wouldn’t it be better to spare him from the spotlight, especially at this stage when we are competing in the World Cup Qualifiers? (I heard on Sportv people calling Qualifiers Qualifiers, I liked it.)
With Tite, there was logic in the call. The young man was present in practically the entire cycle. But what has Richarlison done in the last 12 months that impressed Diniz — apart from brilliant posts?
We always say that national team football is a moment. And the moment for the Brazilian center forwards is not the best. It’s not just Richarlison. Matheus Cunha, the immediate reserve in the position, also plays in the Premier League, at Wolverhampton, a team that had the worst attack among the 20 teams last season. Cunha only arrived in January. He scored 2 goals in 17 games (or 971 minutes). At the start of the Premier League, he scored 1 more in 4 games. It seems little.
Gabriel Jesus, who is returning to form after surgery, was a substitute in Arsenal’s last matches and, even so, he showed more coming off the bench than his two aforementioned colleagues — and Jesus only came because Antony, accused of attacking women, was cut.
The crisis in the position is so great that Ramon Menezes, when he was interim, called up Yuri Alberto, Corinthians’ man in goal. If that isn’t a cry for help I don’t know what is. If he could, Diniz would probably have called up Argentine Cano, from his club Fluminense.
Diniz, in fact, would have a good palliative in the same city of Cano. Tiquinho Soares (Botafogo) and Bruno Henrique (Outro Patamar) could resolve the issue while Richarlison regains his mojo. Even more so against teams as miserable as Bolivia and Peru (with all due respect, as Luxemburgo would say).
Round 38 – 5 left
Not even Data FIFA stops the carnage of teachers at the Brazilian Championship. In the last few days we have had another beheading and the return of an undead. The beheading, in fact, self-beheading, was that of Portuguese coach Renato Paiva, in Bahia, who caused the rebirth of Rogério Ceni (who died while at São Paulo). The survivors, in this scribe’s opinion, now go to the end: Brazilians 2 (Renato Gaúcho and Diniz) x 3 Foreigners (Abel, Caixinha and Vojvoda).
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