Richarlison Outlines Primary Aim For When He's Back Playing

Richarlison says he wants to “return even better” when football is safe to resume – and has revealed how much he is missing Evertonians' fervent support.

The Everton forward has scored 12 goals and provided four assists in 32 appearances this term – following a debut campaign with the Blues in 2018/19 when the South American won the Club’s Young-Player-of-the-Year prize.

Richarlison turned 23 on Sunday and concedes an enforced rest could play in his favour long term – albeit he felt he was gaining momentum under new manager Carlo Ancelotti before football was suspended indefinitely in March.

The 2019 Copa America winner, who spent an extended period of lockdown in Brazil and had a proactive role in home region Nova Venecia’s response to the coronavirus crisis, is intent on accelerating the excellent form which earned him a place in EA Sports's FIFA 20 Premier League Team of the Season So Far, announced earlier this month.

“It had been a positive season and I think our team has grown a lot," Richarlison told

"Individually, I also believe I was in good shape and playing well when the stoppage happened.

“I hope to return even better.

“I’m a big fan of the game [FIFA 20] and I was very happy [to be in the EA Sports team].

“I got a very good update card (where players' ratings are refreshed) and I’m now a very strong player in the video game.

“There are several things I miss about not playing but what I miss most is the adrenaline rush before entering the pitch, hearing the crowd screaming my name and singing songs to support us.

“Unfortunately, because of this situation, we may get used to being without their full support in the stadiums for a while.

“And I'm really competitive, so I have tried to find ways to have some competition during the quarantine, especially in the video games.

“But it is not the same thing.”

Richarlison has started all but two of Everton’s 34 matches in all competitions this season.

He played 38 times in his first Goodison campaign after joining from Premier League rivals Watford in summer 2018.

The attacker, who was making a very good fist of the central striking job handed him by Ancelotti prior to football's suspension, had minimal rest in the close season following his starring role in Brazil’s home Copa America success.

Indeed, holidays are a rare commodity for the player, who went to the Under-20 South American Championship with Brazil at the beginning of 2017 and was ever present in his lone season with Watford immediately after completing a full campaign at home with Fluminense.

While mindful of the need to recuperate, Richarlison incorporated daily training into his lockdown routine back in Brazil, where he embraced the unusual opportunity to enjoy time with family during the football season.

“Since I came to England, I couldn't stay with family all the time because they live in Brazil but we met and spent the quarantine together in Rio de Janeiro," said Richarlison.

“My family is fine, everyone is safe at home and following the recommendations to avoid contagion.

“I think the break from football has benefits on one hand, but on the other hand we lose the match fitness.

“Despite training every day, it may take a few days to fully recover when we return.

"I don't like being without physical activities, so I exercise every day and do everything the Club asks to keep fit during this period.

“I have a nice yard at home and some equipment.

“When I was in Brazil it was no different. Training has been an important part of my day.

“However, the most important thing now is the health of all the people and, when we are allowed, to return safely to restart of the season."

Richarlison provided food parcels containing supplies for one month to 500 households in Nova Venecia, a municipality in the south-east Brazilian state of Espirito Santo.

The player, whose 19 senior international caps have all been earned since his move to Everton, helped in similar fashion when large areas of Brazil were fatally struck by floods at the start of this year.

After moving to England, Richarlison ensured he retained ties with his home region by establishing an annual football match to generate funds to feed impoverished communities in Espirito Santo.

“I always try to help when I have the opportunity,” added Richarlison.

“In my city lots of people need some assistance and I think it’s necessary to do something for them.

“Many people will lose their jobs, be without money to buy food, and I was able to at least guarantee food in their homes during this quarantine.

“I also donated a signed boot for a fundraising campaign at an institution in Brazil. It was a boot of the model I use but it was brand new for the person to be able to use or keep as a souvenir.

"I think that in moments like this we try to do our best."

Richarlison continued: “I tried to help from the beginning [of the outbreak], then the people could stay safe in their homes and not go out on the streets and be at risk of contagion.

“I come from a very poor place, which I think helps me to understand what some people are going through now, and that's why I decided to help as much as I can.

“But I think that helping is much more than buying a food parcel or donating money, we need to be always concerned and really engaged.”