Richarlison says he is savouring the prospect of stepping out at a vibrant and vocal Goodison Park on Saturday, revealing the pre-match Z-Cars siren “makes my hairs stand on end”.
Everton kick off their 2019/20 Goodison campaign against Watford (3pm) and the Brazilian emphasised the squad’s hunger to sustain their home form after an impressive finish to last season.
The siren at the start of Z-Cars – present for the Blues’ final five home games of 2018/19 - was introduced for Everton’s Merseyside derby clash at the Grand Old Lady in March. It helped to spark an electric atmosphere as the Toffees played out a fiercely-competitive goalless draw against Liverpool.
Everton went on to secure three successive home victories over sides who would finish in the Premier League top six, with Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester United each conclusively beaten.
Sean Dyche’s Burnley were also comfortably dispatched, meaning that Marco Silva’s team took 13 points from their final five home matches, hitting nine goals without conceding once.
With the backing of a passionate Goodison crowd, Richarlison is confident Everton can pick up where they left off when former club Watford visit on Saturday.
“For us playing at home, we play with extra joy because we know we’ve got the fans on our side,” he said.
“Playing at home last season, we beat the big clubs and I think we can continue our form this season.
“We’ve got this extra support at home. You hear that siren and your hairs stand on end.
“You can smell blood, and you go onto the pitch really excited and driven.”
Richarlison joined Everton from Watford in the summer of 2018 and went on to score 13 Premier League goals in his maiden Toffees campaign.
He finished as the Club’s joint-top goalscorer alongside playmaker Gylfi Sigurdsson and saw his impressive season recognised as he won Everton’s Young Player of the Season prize.
Richarlison detailed his belief he can elevate his performances even further and highlighted manager Silva’s key influence on his career.
The 22-year-old believes Everton are primed to make further positive strides with the Portuguese at the helm and having bolstered the squad with several quality additions.
Everton signed seven international footballers during the transfer window: Jonas Lossl, Andre Gomes, Fabian Delph, Jean-Philippe Gbamin, Moise Kean, Djibril Sidibe and Alex Iwobi.
“It’s definitely an exciting time to be at Everton,” Richarlison added.
“We’re looking, with these players, to constantly improve. Bringing in these quality players gives us the best chance [to do that].
“Marco Silva’s the coach who I’ve worked with the most in my career. We get on really well. He’s there for me, we trust each other.
“He relates well to the players so everybody is really happy here - not just with him, but the entire coaching staff. That makes us a strong unit.”
Richarlison helped his country secure a first Copa America triumph in 12 years this summer.
The explosive forward rifled in a last-minute penalty as Brazil beat Peru in the final at Rio’s Maracana Stadium.
Richarlison had missed a significant portion of the tournament after contracting mumps - and explained how his return to action to play an important role in Brazil’s victory defied all expectations.
“It was a miracle in some ways,” he said.
“I spent four days in isolation in a hospital room. It was difficult and everyone was saying it was the end of my Copa America. Every day I would look in the mirror and see if the swelling [from the mumps] had gone down.
“Even the doctors didn’t believe that I would recover so quickly and be back for the semi-final and the final.
“But I made the recovery, I got over it, and scored the goal in the final.
“It took a while for it to really sink in and to realise what we’d achieved as a team. I was watching my penalty back every night!
“It was a great achievement and means a lot for me and my family.”