Richarlison's skills remarkable: Tite

Everton forward Richarlison was not part of Tite's World Cup squad as the five-time champions lost to Belgium at the quarter-final stage in Russia.
Everton forward Richarlison was not part of Tite's World Cup squad as the five-time champions lost to Belgium at the quarter-final stage in Russia. PHOTO: REUTERS

LANDOVER (Michigan) • Richarlison will depart the United States for Merseyside with Brazil coach Tite's praise ringing in his ears after he capped his first full start for his country by scoring twice in a 5-0 friendly rout of El Salvador on Tuesday.

The Everton forward, who made his international debut in the 2-0 friendly victory over the United States only last Saturday, was not part of Tite's World Cup squad as the five-time champions lost to Belgium at the quarter-final stage in Russia.

But the 21-year-old is shaping up to be a big part of their future and, even though Richarlison faces stiff competition for a starting place up front with Neymar, Roberto Firmino and Gabriel Jesus in his way, Tite is aware of the different qualities he brings to the side.

After the game, Tite said: "He does not look to the sides, he looks forward. He offers a different feature in the combination play. With his movement, he always has the ball in space. This characteristic is remarkable for him."

The £40 million (S$71.6 million) close-season signing for the Toffees was also thrilled that his "dream had come true".

"I'm very happy... I have to work hard at my club to come back more often (to the Selecao)," said Richarlison, who is the top scorer for Everton this season with three goals so far.

The disparity between the two teams was as apparent on the field as it is on paper. Brazil are third in the world rankings, and the 72nd-ranked Central American side looked overpowered as the Brazilians held 63 per cent of possession, and were calm and confident on the ball throughout the match.

Brazil ran out with a new-look side, with Tite also giving debuts to goalkeeper Neto and full-back Eder Militao as well as a first start for midfielder Arthur, and his side took just four minutes to open the scoring through Neymar's penalty after a foul on Richarlison.

Richarlison got on the scoresheet with a curling strike 12 minutes later before pouncing on a loose ball in the second half, while there were also goals for Philippe Coutinho and Marquinhos.

Elsewhere, Colombia and Argentina played out a 0-0 draw in New Jersey on Tuesday.

REUTERS, WASHINGTON POST

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 13, 2018, with the headline 'Richarlison's skills remarkable: Tite'. Print Edition | Subscribe