Richarlison shone in the debut of the Brazilian National Team in the World Cup in Qatar. The striker scored both goals in Brazil’s 2-0 victory over Serbia in the first round of the World Cup. More than that, the volley that closed the score at Estádio Lusail is already being considered by sports critics the most beautiful goal of the Cup so far.
The team dominated the first half, but went into the break with the score 0-0 after wasting important chances, especially through Raphinha’s feet. The second stage started the same way: with Brazil pressing and creating opportunities to open the scoring.
The first big chance was with Alex Sandro, who finished from outside the area and hit the post. Until, 16 minutes into the second half, the star of the Brazilian number 9 began to shine. Neymar invaded the area leaving two markers behind, Vini Jr emerged from the left end and took advantage of the leftover play to finish hard for the goal. Inside the small area, Richarlison took the rebound and pushed to the back of the net.
At 27′, a flight of the ‘Pigeon’ nailed a painting, a true work of art in the World Cup in Qatar. Vini Jr advanced on the left and crossed with three fingers to Richarlison. The center forward saw the ball go up after his dominance and made use of quite a resource: he corrected an accurate volley and scored a home goal in the World Cup.
Richarlison went beyond the goal in his debut. He finishes the opening round of the Cup among the top scorers of the tournament. More than that, he breaks a taboo and dispatches a ‘zica’ in the Brazilian national team: since 2002, a number 9 shirt has not scored in Brazil’s debut in the biggest football competition on the planet. 20 years ago, Ronaldo scored one of the goals in Brazil’s 2-1 victory over Turkey, in the first round of the Japan/South Korea Cup.
Since then, Brazil has not seen another number 9 score in the debut of the Selection in a World Cup. “If this isn’t a sign, I don’t know what is”, highlighted journalist Marcelo Barreto, during the Qatar Selection program, on SporTV. The 2002 Cup ended with Brazil five times world champion and the Phenomenon top scorer. There were eight goals scored, two of them in the final, against Germany.
Remember the sequence broken by Richarlison:
2006 – With the number 8 on his back, Kaká scored in a 1-0 victory over Croatia;
2010 – Maicon (shirt number 2) and Elano (number 7) scored to secure Brazil’s 2-1 victory over North Korea;
2014 – Neymar (10) scored two and Oscar (11) closed the account in the 3-1 over Croatia;
2018 – Phillippe Coutinho was wearing number 11 when he scored a goal for Brazil in the 1-1 draw with Switzerland.
Richarlison broke yet another taboo. The last 9 to score for the Selection in a World Cup was Fred, in 2014. Gabriel Jesus went through the 2018 World Cup without scoring. With the two goals scored by ‘Pombo’, the ‘zica’ of the yellow shirt number 9 in the Cups leaves.
“A childhood dream come true. Four weeks ago, I was crying, doubting whether I would come. It was worth the effort in my recovery. I treated three periods a day and it was worth the recovery effort”, said the top scorer in an interview with TV Globo after the final whistle.
With the ‘Pombo’ in command of the attack, Brazil returns to the field next Monday (28), to face Switzerland. The clash will take place at 1pm, at Stadium 974, for the second round of the World Cup in Qatar.