Brazilian outlet Globo Esporte today published a podcast containing an interview with Everton star Richarlison.
There was a chat of nearly 50 minutes in which the striker had a lot to say. And the most interesting quotes were probably about his strong relationship with the national team.
Richarlison has many times commented on how important it is for him to play for Brazil. So he was quizzed about the time that he got injured at Everton and still fought to play for his country.
That’s a story that Toffees manager Carlo Ancelotti probably wouldn’t like to hear, but still nice to see how the player did everything he could to be with the national team.
“I had sprained my ankle and it was kind of swollen. And then Ancelotti arrived at the medical department and looked at my ankle like that and said, he did it like that with his little finger, ‘you are not going to the national team’,” Richarlison told Globo Esporte.
“And then he asked the doctor to evaluate me and said that I wasn’t good. That’s where I picked up the fight. I said ‘no, I’m fine, I’m going to the game’. That was the game against Brighton at home. And then I went to the game even in pain. I took a couple of anti-inflammatories, went to the game, played there for about 30 minutes, even in pain, got a knock and left. And I left with the national team in mind. Like, ‘is he going to cut me out?’ And when I got there in the locker room, a lot of messages arrived, my father, ‘how are you? Are you okay? Your ankle okay? Will you be able to go to the national team?’ I said ‘Yeah, I can go, rest assured that I will, I’ll have an injection and that is it’.”
“And then the game was over, we won, everyone was happy. And I took advantage of the atmosphere in the locker room and got to Ancelotti and said: ‘Hey professor, I’m fine, it was just to prevent it, for me to get well to the national team, I’m fine’.
“Of course I’m not a fool, I covered my ankle with a bandage, I said I was fine, I was walking, I even started walking normally. And that’s when he called Tite and said I could go to the national team. When I arrived at the national team, I remember that I got to Sassá, who’s the physiotherapist there, and I said: ‘Hey Sassá, do your best to heal me so I can play’. And I remember that I’d arrive at the medical department at seven in the morning and only left at one in the morning. Well, Sassá was crucial to make me 100%. The guy would barely have lunch and was already there with me, and this love I have for the national team is unique.
“At the press conference I had at Granja, I even said that I liked the national team more than I like myself. So this is real. It’s from the heart. So I don’t think there will be any little thing that will take me from the national team. I think when Ancelotti said I wasn’t going, that sadness hit me, I almost cried at the club. Because I don’t know, taking me out of the national team is like taking my life. So, I don’t know, it’s the thing that I don’t want for any player, to be threatened with taking out of the national team.”
Richarlison has already won the Copa America for Brazil last year, and has the chance to do it again in 2021. There’s also the Olympics in Tokyo, and since he’s 23-years-of-age, he’s eligible for the squad. Everton don’t want him to go to both, and he’ll fight for it again.
“Yeah, my club even discussed it with me. Because they just want to let me go to one competition, Copa America or the Olympics. And I said to them I want to go to both. If I’m called to both, I want to go to both. That’s very important for me too.
“So it will definitely be resolved. And if I choose, I will definitely choose the Olympics. Because I never played the Olympics and it’s my last year too, right? I don’t know if I’ll be able to play later, because there may be overage players, but now it’s certain, because I’m 23, so I will be able. So I think if I have a choice like that, I will go to the Olympics.”