Richarlison says reporting for pre-season training with Everton this week felt like returning to “my second home”.
The Brazilian was back at the Club's USM Finch Farm headquarters on Monday, three weeks after nervelessly converting the penalty which sealed his country’s Copa America final victory over Peru.
Richarlison’s strike in Rio’s Maracana Stadium was his sixth for Brazil following the player's senior international debut back in September – adding to the 14 goals he scored for Everton last season.
He played 51 matches across six countries and three continents for Everton and Brazil in 2018/19.
But following a short holiday – which Richarlison devoted in part to staging a charity football match in hometown Nova Venecia – the player was straining to get back to work.
“I was really missing training and my teammates and very keen to get back on the pitch playing again,” Richarlison told evertontv.
“It is my second home here at Everton, my football home.
“I am really happy to be here and I hope to contribute throughout the season for my club.
“Winning the Copa America was a massive achievement and a big moment in my career.
“It was important to win my first trophy and also for Brazil to have that success.
“I want to continue developing and getting better and to win things for my national team and club.”
Richarlison had been on the pitch for 15 minutes after replacing Roberto Firmino when Brazil were awarded a penalty in the closing sixty seconds of last month’s final.
The 22-year-old promptly made a beeline for the ball, no matter the scale of responsibility with Brazil seeking to ending a 12-year Copa America drought. On home soil, to boot.
Richarlison, though, insisted his excellent first campaign with Everton emboldened him to wear the pressure of delivering for his country lightly.
The forward’s 14 goals tied him with Gylfi Sigurdsson as the Club’s top scorer. It was relevant, too, that Richarlison struck three times in his final eight games last term after his goals dried up in the second half of 2017/18 with previous club Watford.
“It was here at Everton I gained the confidence to get my place in the national team,” said Richarlison.
“I scored a lot of goals and spent the whole season in the team and working hard to improve.
“That gave me a lot of belief and confidence,
“I went to the national team and did what I do.
“The other players with Brazil also helped increase my confidence and belief and that was really important.”
Richarlison went down with mumps after starting the Copa America in Brazil’s starting XI.
He defied initial expectations by returning in time for the final and says his positive mindset was best illustrated in the moment penalty-taking duties were up for grabs.
In turn, the South American, who signed a five-year deal when he joined Everton from Watford 12 months ago, is optimistic the bounce from his summer exploits will carry into the new season.
“The confidence of every individual and the team collectively is really important,” added Richarlison.
“I trust my teammates and they trust me… I think everything is in place to have a great season.
“One of my mates said, ‘You must have been crazy to grab the ball for the penalty’.
“It was the decisive moment in the final.
“But I was feeling confident, I got hold of the ball and scored.
“I believed in myself and we won the Copa America.”