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‘I nearly quit football’ – Everton star Richarlison reveals incredible journey to Brazil first team – football news

New Brazil star Richarlison has revealed that he almost hung up his boots as a disillusioned youngster before finding the form that would catapult him to fame.

The former Fluminense and Watford player has become an instant favourite with new club Everton, hitting three goals in his first three Premier League games after becoming the Toffees’ most expensive player in history over the summer. 

That form saw him included in the Brazil squad for friendlies against the United States and El Salvador, the latter seeing Richarlison net two goals in a 5-0 rout on Tuesday. 

But having been born in the relative football backwater of Espiritu Santo, he admits that his path to stardom was anything but smooth. 

“I haven’t got enough fingers to count the number of clubs who rejected me,” he told AS after his scoring turn. 

“I was ready to give up football, but I lifted my head and I went to Belo Horizonte with just the money for an outward ticket for the last trial I had, with America MG. If I didn’t make it, I had no money to get home to Espiritu Santo, 600 kilometres away. 

“I gave my all that morning and I passed. If I had given up after the first no I would never have made it where I am today.” 

Richarlison also detailed the hardships of his upbringing, revealing the sacrifices he had to make in order to pursue a career as a footballer. 

“I had to live in my uncle’s house because it was closer to where I used to train and I had no money for the bus,” he added. 

“I used to sell candy and ice creams in the street and I worked in the fields to help my parents. I couldn’t have done it otherwise, because everyone did what they could so I could fulfil my dream of being a footballer. 

“I have learned that you need to have patience, perseverance and faith in people to reach your goals.” 

The player confessed that the “cold” of England tested his resolve upon swapping Rio de Janeiro for Watford in 2017, but that he now feels at home in the Premier League and is enjoying the further challenge of English classes. 

And when it comes to an idol on the pitch, there is only one man that Richarlison looks up to. 

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“Ronaldo, O Fenomeno. He is a special player and deserves the nickname he has,” he stated. 

“The other day I had the pleasure of meeting him and it was hugely exciting. I have a ritual that I always do on the bus on the way to games. 

“I pick up my tablet and put on videos of his goals to warm myself up.”

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‘It has to end’ – Neymar claims ‘lack of respect’ after yellow card for diving – football news

Neymar criticised referee Jair Marrufo after receiving what he felt was an “unnecessary” booking for simulation during his side’s 5-0 win over El Salvador.

The Paris Saint-Germain forward saw yellow just before half-time at FedExField in Washington after failing to convince the official he had been fouled inside the penalty area.

While he did not complain at the time, the Brazil captain aired his views after the friendly fixture, declaring American Marrufo had made an incorrect call in showing a card, rather than his decision not to give a foul.

It is not the first time Neymar’s on-field antics have caused controversy; the 26-year-old was condemned by some for his theatrical behaviour at times during the World Cup earlier this year.

“I do not know what I have to do to live with it [this reputation], there’s no way I’m going to stand for a situation like this. I think it has to end,” he said, according to Globo Esporte .

“But it’s not up to me, so much that I did not say anything, I went on with my football.

“It’s a lack of respect, not just with me, but with my team-mates as well.

“Playing with a yellow card is tricky. The guy comes here to officiate a Brazilian national team match, which is a very big selection, and he does that … I don’t think it is correct. 

“If he does not want to give the penalty, it’s not a problem, but the card is unnecessary.”

Neymar did convert a fourth-minute penalty to put Brazil in front against El Salvador following a foul on debutant Richarlison, who went on to score twice in the rout.

The one-sided result followed on from a 2-0 triumph over the United States as Brazil look to move on following their disappointing campaign in Russia, where they were knocked out by Belgium in the last eight.

“I’m the type of guy that every time I get the ball, I just look forward,” Neymar told the media. “I just look for something, I try to create something, a chance on goal.

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“That’s what I want to pass on to the other players as well. Our team has to play with joy, yes, Tite has said that and I also want to enjoy it, because playing here is difficult.

“To play for the Brazil national team is a dream of every one of us, so we have to show our affection and love for this.”

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Asensio, Balotelli and the winners and losers of international week – football news


WINNER: MARCUS RASHFORD


Marcus Rashford England 2018-19

Many England players emerged from the World Cup with their reputations enhanced. It must be said that Marcus Rashford wasn’t one of those.

While the country fell in love with the likes of Kieran Trippier and Harry Maguire, Rashford was somewhat on the fringes and did not contribute a lot to the English charge to the semi-finals.

He has however started the new cycle in fine form.

England may have lost against Spain on Saturday in their UEFA Nations League opener but Rashford was bright and busy, scoring the opener and serving a reminder of his capabilities to the onlooking Jose Mourinho.

He was efficient in front of goal on Tuesday as well when England beat Switzerland in a friendly at the King Power Stadium, scoring the only goal of the game.

It’s been a difficult start to the Premier League season for Rashford – and indeed for Manchester United as a whole – but goals in back-to-back games for the first time for his country will do his confidence the world of good.


WINNER: GEORGE WEAH


George Weah

Some 15 years after his retirement, the president of Liberia George Weah made an incredible international comeback in a 2-1 home defeat to Nigeria.

Weah, Africa’s only Ballon d’Or winner, was to be honoured at the game in the Samuel Doe Stadium in Monrovia where his legendary No. 14 shirt was to be retired.

Those in attendance were taken by surprise when Weah – now aged 51 – led the Lone Stars out with the captain’s armband instead of merely watching from the stands.

He lasted an impressive 79 minutes and by all accounts put in quite a shift despite a paunch reflecting his years of good living. James Debbah – one of Weah’s former international team-mates – also played aged 48.

There are repercussions in Nigeria where many are demanding answers on why the NFF agreed to send a senior representative team to play in a glorified friendly.

For the president – elected in a runoff last December – it was a fond farewell on the same night his son Timothy played for the United States against Mexico.


WINNER: RICHARLISON


Richarlison Brazil El Salvador Friendly 11092018

A strong start to the season for new club Everton preceded a first call-up to the Brazil squad for Richarlison, who took Pedro’s place late in the day.

And having been handed the legendary No. 9 shirt by Tite, the £50 million man made quite the impression on his first start for his country.

He won an early penalty against El Salvador in a Stateside friendly – which Neymar converted – before Richarlison stole the show himself in front of goal.

Brazil won 5-0 – to add to their 2-0 win last week over the United States – and Richarlison provided the pick of the bunch.

He scored in either half; the first a curler into the top corner and the second a powerful effort from the edge of the box.

With that performance and those goals, he will have served notice of his abilities to Tite, who is plotting the next stage of Brazil’s cycle after a disappointing World Cup.


WINNER: MARCO ASENSIO


Marco Asensio Spain 2018-19

Long heralded as one of the coming forces in world football, this is expected to be the season Marco Asensio stands among the elites.

He has won two Champions Leagues with Real Madrid but now with Cristiano Ronaldo gone he will step up to become one of the European champions’ key players.

And for his country too, Asensio looks ready to become a superstar.

Spain have won six points from six in their opening Nations League fixtures and on Tuesday night Asensio ran the game against Croatia.

The World Cup semi-finalists were smashed 6-0 by Spain with Asensio providing three assists as well as a stunning long-range strike of his own.


LOSERS: ITALY AND BALOTELLI


Balotelli Italy Poland

This was supposed to mark the start of a new era under Roberto Mancini.

The 2006 World Cup winners failed to qualify for this year’s tournament and so a new regime took over. Italy, however, look scarcely better for swapping Giampiero Ventura for the former Inter manager.

They were lacklustre and out of ideas in a 1-1 draw against Poland before succumbing to a 1-0 loss against Portugal on Sunday. 

Alarmingly, they have won a total of two matches in a year of football – a World Cup qualifier against Albania and a friendly against Saudi Arabia. They are a team bereft of confidence and ability.

One thing they have been lacking is firepower in front of goal. Mario Balotelli being sent back to his club for being a reported 15 kilograms over weight will not have helped the cause and they are already looking at Nations League relegation.


LOSERS: IRELAND AND ROY KEANE


Roy Keane Ireland

Controversy is raging in Ireland with assistant manager Roy Keane predictably at the centre of things.

A leaked WhatsApp voice message from left-back Stephen Ward detailed two extraordinary training camp rows between Keane and Irish internationals Jonathan Walters and Harry Arter. It has led to calls for Keane’s sacking given the manner in which he addressed the players and brought questions about exactly what it is he does in Martin O’Neill’s regime.

That overshadowed things to such an extent that it was easy to forget Ireland were hammered in their opening Nations League fixture against Wales before giving up a late draw away to Poland in a friendly.

The Irish public has simply been turned off the national team given the poor levels of performance in recent games and the lack of anything approaching a shake-up – in the boardroom, the dugout or on the pitch.

The rot has well and truly set in.


LOSERS: ICELAND


Iceland Belgium Nations League

The surprise team of Euro 2016 have long since shed their underdog tag and are struggling with life at a higher level.

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They qualified well for the World Cup but could not get out of their group. Now their failings are being exposed in the Nations League.

They were annihilated 6-0 by Switzerland on matchday one before the boos rang out in Reykjavik on matchday two as Belgium ran riot with a 3-0 victory.

It was their first home defeat since June 2013 and a demoralising one at that given they were in the game until Eden Hazard scored from the penalty spot.

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Richarlison hails first Brazil goals as ‘dream come true’ – football news

It was a “dream come true” for Richarlison as the Brazil forward marked his starting debut with two goals against El Salvador.

Everton star Richarlison scored in either half to lead Brazil to a 5-0 rout of El Salvador in Tuesday’s international friendly.

After coming off the bench to make his debut against the United States last week, Richarlison was named in the starting XI and netted two fine goals in Maryland.

Speaking afterwards, the 21-year-old – who has netted three goals in as many Premier League matches for Everton this season – said: “I’m very happy, right. A dream come true … my first goal. I hope to do more.”

Richarlison earned a second-minute penalty, albeit harshly on El Salvador as Roberto Dominguez appeared to get a foot on the ball, before captain Neymar converted.

The former Watford attacker then doubled Brazil’s lead with a stunning first-time finish in the 16th minute before he scored the team’s fourth of the night – another fine effort five minutes into the second half.

“Pressure, responsibility. I’m used to playing in big clubs,” Richarlison said.

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Richarlison, who linked up well with Paris Saint-Germain star Neymar, added: “I’m very happy for both goals. I was able to take advantage of the opportunity. 

“I just have to thank my friends. I have to work hard at my club to come back more often.”

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Richarlison and Arthur set for Brazil starts – football news

Everton forward Richarlison is set to make his Brail debut on Tuesday when the Selecao meet El Salvador on the Brasil Global Tour.

Barcelona midfielder Arthur is in line to make his first start, too, as coach Tite shuffles his pack for the clash at FedEx Field in Landover.

Brazil returned to the training field in Washington on Monday, which saw Tite present his first-team to the watching media in customary fashion as he split the team in starters and reserves.

The five-time world champions cruised to a 2-0 win over USA on Friday in New Jersey to kick-off a new era in style and will use their second Brasil Global Tour date this month to test some fresh faces.

Richarlison, who joined the squad as a late replacement for the injured Pedro, will slot into the centre-forward role in place of Roberto Firmino in one of five changes to the starting line-up.

Porto youngster Eder Militao will come in at right-back for his first international cap, while Alex Sandro will replace Filipe Luis on the left side of the defence.

And there will also be a long-awaited debut for Valencia goalkeeper Neto, who will finally make his Brazil bow some eight years after his first international call-up. 

Neto has been present in the Brazil squad for more than 20 matches but is yet to see a single minute for his country.

Click the link below to buy your tickets and join the Selecao on the Brasil Global Tour!

Brazil El Salvador BGT

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