Sports, Football

Richarlison, a tale of chocolate seller turning famous booter

Published : 25 Nov 2022 08:36 PM

When Tite fielded his start-line during Brazil’s opening match against Serbia, all eyes were on Neymar the undisputed star of the country but on the day Richarlison caught the sight of the fans all over the world with a sensational strike. 

A scissor kick of Richarlison took only 72 minutes to draw the attention of millions of football fans when on 73rd minute, Richarlison received the ball in the penalty area with his back to the goal. From there, in one motion, Richarlison flicked the ball into the air on his first touch and whipped his body around to perform a deft scissor kick. His shot sailed over Serbian defender Milos Veljkovic and past goalkeeper Vanja Milinkovic. 

All eyes were on Neymar before Brazil’s opening game at the 2022 World Cup but it was Richarlison who was the hero in the 2-0 win against Serbia. 

Richarlison, today’s hero has not a rich childhood story when he was born in a low profile family in in 1997 Nova Venecia, Espirito, Brazil. 

According to his autobiography, Richarlison is the oldest of five children born to his father, who was a stonemason and his mother, a cleaner and ice cream seller. 

This literally means he was born into poverty. Their occupation today has now changed, all thanks to their son, who has made it in life. As regards family life, his mum and dad gave Richarlison a good moral upbringing.

As a youngster, the Brazilian sold chocolate and ice cream to make money, whereas his friends sold drugs and it was not any surprising if Richarlison would be derailed and would be a drug seller as his friends. But the great passion for football made his a star footballer.  

Richarlison when said, “The majority of my friends went to sell drugs in the street because they saw easy money; a lot of money.

“But I knew it was wrong so I sold chocolate and ice cream and washed cars because I knew that was the right thing to do.

And I could help my mother. ‘My friends always used to tell me: ‘Oh come here, don’t be a little girl, come and smoke with us, come and sell with us, you can make much more money”.

Richarlison never chooses the criminal life. He was contented with the little thing of life even though he wasn’t the world’s greatest ice cream salesman.”Richarlison grew up in Nova Venecia in the south-eastern state of Espirito Santo, — which boasts fantastic beaches but is better known for producing steel and petroleum than footballers.

Richarlison said, “When I was seven my dad bought ten balls for me, not because he could afford to do it but because he wanted me to be a good footballer. 

Most of the time my friends and I played on the street, make goals with our sandals. It was like a favela, a poor area.”

Richarlison, had the ambition to play in the top level competitions from an early age, as he also said, “I used to watch the Premier League on my uncle’s TV. I was in love with what I was seeing — the speed of the game and the way it never stopped.”

Richarlison at that time would always speak to his mind saying… ‘I’m going to play there one day’.