Richarlison is the favorite to wear in Qatar-2022 the shirt immortalized by Ronaldo and Romario, priced lower after the five-time championship in 2002, but first he must overcome other goal lovers who seek to appropriate the ‘9’ of Brazil.
The Tottenham London striker is the solid contender for the centre-forward position at the World Cup, where Tite’s ‘Seleção’, one of the favourites, will debut against Serbia on 24 November. Switzerland and Cameroon complete Group G.
Richarlison, 25, played much of the South American qualifier on the wing, where he has also played in England. He appropriated the center of the attack in the Copa América-2021 and in the last days of the tie, when Roberto Firmino faded and the scoring load fell on Neymar.
In the Cup, in which Argentina beat Brazil 1-0 in the final at the Maracana, he barely scored a goal in seven games, but in the qualifying round he was the second auriverde scorer (6), behind ‘Ney’ (8). ).
“In the national team I have scored many goals, at any time I can score. I have high-level players by my side, the confidence is very great,” said ‘Pombo’ (Palomo) last month to the channel’s “Esporte Espetacular” program. Balloon.
– The competition –
He started three of the last four friendly scratch matches before Qatar, scoring four goals in victories against South Korea, Ghana and Tunisia.
In mid-October he injured his left calf during a Premier League game, although the injury should not jeopardize his call-up.
He forms an attacking pair with Neymar, who usually plays on the left or centralized although a few meters down, and is backed by Lucas Paquetá and some fast wingers like Antony, Vinicius Jr or Raphinha.
Despite his efficiency and Tite’s praise, the coach has tried another tactical scheme without him, perhaps in the event of a drought among the candidates for the position: ‘Ney’ in the center of the offense, with Paquetá in the place that the ’10 ‘ occupies when there is a ‘9’ and two ends.
“We have lost a bit the reference of nine as a center forward. The closest is Richarlison, but he also leaves the area a lot,” former center forward Careca, a World Cup player with Brazil in Mexico-1986, where he scored five goals, and Italy, told AFP. -1990.
For Careca, Pedro, champion and scorer of the Copa Libertadores (12 goals) with Flamengo, is the closest to a classic number ‘9’ in the bunch of candidates.
“Pedro can be an important piece because he is an old-fashioned nine: he has good mobility, he is in a very good moment with the club, he is tall, he heads well, he goes well in one-two. I think he can make the difference”, Explain.
Gabriel Jesus, Arsenal figure; Gabigol Barbosa, scorer of the title goal for ‘Fla’ in the Libertadores; Firmino, on the rise at Liverpool, and Matheus Cunha, goalless this season at Atlético de Madrid, complete Tite’s deck, who revealed the list of 26 called up on November 7.
– ‘9’ downcast –
“The World Cup is something else. Many times you start with one team and finish with another. Tite has the best problem, which is having many good players,” Ronaldo Nazário told a news conference in Sao Paulo in October.
The Phenomenon was precisely the last great ‘9’ of the ‘Canarinha’ in a World Cup, in South Korea and Japan 2002, where the Brazilians won their last world title with him as the scorer (he scored eight of the 18 goals from Brazil).
From then on, the center forwards of the five-time champions had performances below the image established by Ronaldo and Romario, considered the best player in the United States-1994 four-time championship where he scored five goals.
The former Real Madrid scored three in five games in Germany-2006, the same ones celebrated by Luis Fabiano in five games in South Africa-2010.
In Brazil-2014, that of the unforgettable 7-1 beating given by Germany in the semis, and Russia-2018, the scoring quota fell to a ’10’ shirt, Neymar, with six goals between both tournaments.
In those two World Cups, between the four attacking midfielders who played -Fred, Jo, Firmino and Gabriel Jesus- they scored only two goals.
“Today we have a very strong mix of players who can solve the game. The strong point of Tite’s team is the unity they have on the field, they know that they don’t depend solely on one player to win the World Cup, and that will help a lot,” Cafu, two-time world champion in 1994 and 2002, told AFP.