Richarlison Claims Prestigious Honour

Richarlison has completed a heady summer back home in Brazil by being awarded the most prestigious sporting honour in the Everton player’s home state of Espirito Santo.

The forward, who joined Everton from Watford 12 months ago, scored from the penalty spot to wrap up Brazil’s 3-1 Copa America final win over Peru in Rio on Sunday.

Richarlison’s footballing achievements and altruistic off-field work were officially recognised on Wednesday when he received the Commendation of Sporting Merit Jose de Anchieta Fontana. 

And the 22-year-old used the presentation ceremony to urge his country’s government to increase funding for education in Espirito Santo.

Richarlison last month helped finance a school from his home town of Nova Venecia’s participation in an international maths competition in Taiwan.

In the summer he signed for Everton, Richarlison staged a charity football match in Nova Venecia, generating the funds to buy three tonnes of food to distribute around the region’s impoverished areas.

After accepting the award. Richarlison said he “wanted to thank [the state] for their affection and the homage”, and that the ceremony “will stay forever in my memory."

Speaking on stage, though, Richarlison reserved his words for a plea to the Brazilian government.

“I do not know how this works, I have no idea, but I wanted to ask the government to invest more in education,” said Richarlison.

"Many will miss out because they lack investment. So I ask you to invest more in education, which is very important for our state to grow."

He added on Instagram: "I will always exalt my roots and know that the only thing that can make us evolve as a people, as a nation, is to invest heavily in education.

"This is what I asked the representatives of my state: to help ensure a better future for the children and young people of my land.”