What a season Richarlison has had. After following mentor and father figure Marco Silva to Everton, he ended the 2018-19 season as the Blues joint top scorer and capped it all off with making his Brazil international debut and lifting the Copa America at home.
The forward is now going to get a well-deserved break for the next few days before joining up with the Everton preseason training group at a later date.
Before he went off though, he spoke to Everton FC about the effect Silva has had on his game and how much credit he deserves for where he’s gotten, including scoring in Sunday’s Final, a 3-1 win over Peru.
“Marco Silva has helped me from the first day I arrived in England, always pushing me to develop and evolve,.
“During training, he talks to me a lot and does not hesitate to call me in his office for us to have discussions and watch videos, to explain what is good or bad about my game.
“It helps me a lot and there is a special relationship between us.”
The forward was first brought to the United Kingdom by Silva when he was in charge of Watford FC, and what the manager said to him before that transfer certainly resounded with him.
Richarlison now has six goals in thirteen international appearances, but insisted that just because of their close relationship he doesn’t get any special treatment, and it’s quite the contrary instead.
“He requires more from me because he knows my potential – and it is thanks to this requirement that I integrated into the Brazil team.
“During training, he always demands that I claim the ball and score goals.
“As soon as something does not fit, he tells me. And he is always encouraging me to concentrate and work hard for the team.”
The 21-year-old has flourished at the Toffees, and was named the Young Player of the Year at the Dixies, a well-deserved accolade, but he hasn’t forgotten the flak he took in the second half of the season at the Hornets.
“I received some attention in the press because I did not score for a period [at Watford] – but I never lose faith in my ability and always give everything for the jersey.
“Football is not just about scoring, it is about helping the team.
“It gives me a big feeling of happiness when I hear Everton supporters singing my name.
“It feels like they trust you and know what you can do. It is an extra boost.”
Winning the Copa at home with his friends and family watching means a lot to the player who proudly wears the national colours, and was crushed but stoic when he was benched after a couple of games as manager Tite fiddled with his lineup and then ended up contracting the mumps.
“It is the dream of any child growing up in Brazil to wear this jersey that has so much history.
”There are five stars on the jersey [to represent the country’s five World Cup successes] and it is true that there is a lot of pressure playing for the team but it is up to us to manage it.
“We wanted to deliver a beautiful Copa in front of our home supporters and win for our country. It was wonderful to celebrate with my family in the Maracana.”