Richarlison personified the spirit of the number 9 shirt of the Brazilian national team. In his World Cup opener, he scored two goals, with one of the most beautiful goals of the tournament so far – a volley to secure the victory against Serbia. Playful, he even managed to get coach Tite to celebrate by doing the pigeon dance in the match against South Korea.
He is second top scorer in the Cup, two goals behind Kylian Mbappé, and dreams of bringing home this trophy and the sixth one. His father, Antônio Marcos de Andrade, 46, remembers that everything in his son’s life was built to be at that moment. Even the memories of the fifth championship, when Richarlison was only five years old, show his commitment to being one of the great names of the national team.
“He is inspired a lot by Ronaldo Fenômeno. I remember he was about five years old at the time and we lived just the two of us. I went down to the street and I watched this game in a little bar there, with him. He went out a little bit, went to play ball with the boys in the street, he would come back, and I would watch. I believe he has these memories of Ronaldo in 2002”, Antônio told, by telephone, to Sheet🇧🇷
The passion for football came from Richarlison’s grandfather, João Olímpico de Andrade, who died earlier this year. He always took his son, the father of the national team player, to see his games in the floodplain, a tradition he followed in the family.
“He always took me, he didn’t leave me behind in any game he went to. I got that lineage. When I had Richarlison, I always took him since he started walking. I participated in amateur. truck, on foot, by bicycle, they always found a way to take him. And he learned to love football just like me.”
Richarlison was even the catalyst for his father’s dream of playing at least one game as a professional. He founded Nova Venécia Futebol Clube, in the city where he was born, and the club is chaired by the athlete’s father. Last year, when the team played in Series B of the Capixaba Championship, at the age of 45, Antônio and Elton, his uncle, were announced as strikers.
“I signed up for the state, in the Capixaba Series B, and thank God we were champions and I entered two matches, including the final, which we tied 1-1 and won on penalties. It was very gratifying for me. opportunity, maybe I didn’t follow that career, but God is always taking care of us. It didn’t work out for me, but it worked for my son, who can reach even bigger dreams”, he celebrates.
The construction of his career also involved the support of his uncle Elton and aunt Audiceia. Another legacy of the player is the courage to take a stand. It was like this, for example, at the time of vaccination against Covid-19, in the disappearance of Dom Phillips and Bruno Pereira.
“This comes from the cradle. Our family has always been humble, they have always lived in the countryside, and this humility we bring from the cradle, from the family, from the parents, who, even with difficulties, always try to help others. My parents have always been like this, always They worked hard and I learned a lot from them. I always tried to pass this on to Richarlison and my other children. It comes from solidarity with others. Helping others is always good, right?”, says Antônio.
In Qatar, expectations were high. Richarlison was injured on the eve of the tournament and became a concern. Antônio admits that they were apprehensive, but the desire to be there for their son was so great that even the recovery sped up.
“I have no words to describe this feeling. Just as I saw him fulfill his dream of being in the professional team at América, rising and continuing to rise until reaching the Champions League, debuting with two goals. Today, he is in the Brazilian national team and debuted in the Copa of the World with two goals. There are no words to describe this joy. God willing, he will win this Cup and will take the sixth to Brazil.”
Brazil returns to the field this Friday (9), at 12h, against Croatia, for the quarterfinals of the World Cup.
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