Everton face potential club-versus-country issue over Richarlison

Thursday, 27 February, 2020 38comments  |  Jump to last

Everton are hoping to hold further talks with the Brazil Football Confederation over Richarlison's involvement with that country's national team over the summer.

With the Copa America taking place again this year, Richarlison will almost certainly be involved in one international tournament over the close season when, as expected, he is selected to play in the competition being hosted jointly by Argentina and Colombia.

However, Brazil will also be sending a team to the Tokyo Olympic Games in August and Richarlison hopes to be included the Seleção's squad for that as well. Not only will that mean the 22-year-old playing almost the entire summer but the Gold Medal game is scheduled to played on the opening day of the 2020-21 Premier League season.

“I've already spoken to Carlo Ancelotti about this,” Richarlison told the Liverpool Echo in an exclusive interview. “If Brazil want me for both the Olympic Games and the Copa America, I want to be in both because they are really important to me.

"And it is also important to the club that I play for Brazil and I hope the club understands this.

But we will see what happens. [Coach] Juninho Paulista has already asked me if I want to play [in the Olympics] and I said that if Brazil want me then, of course, I will go and play.”

That will be a decision for a later date. In the meantime, Richarlison is focused on trying to help propel Everton into Europe for the first time since he joined the club from Watford.

The Blues suffered a setback in that aim with defeat to Arsenal last Sunday but successive games against two rivals for the European qualification places, Manchester United and Chelsea offer more opportunities to pick up valuable points.

“Obviously, my number one desire is to get in the Europa League or Champions League with Everton,” Richarlison explained.

“I spoke to Ancelotti and he is counting on me and so I am focusing on helping Everton and fulfilling my personal objectives and scoring goals.”

“Since the start of the season, our objective has been to qualify for the Champions League. With the arrival of Carlo Ancelotti we have improved. Unfortunately we lost an important game against Arsenal and we wanted to use that game to climb up the table.

"But on Sunday we have another important game, against a direct rival for one of these positions, and we are going to give our all in this game to try and climb the table.”

Correction: The article was amended to remove a reference to the Copa America being an annual event.


Reader Comments (38)

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Alan J Thompson
1 Posted 27/02/2020 at 05:17:31
Given the way this Coronavirus is going, they may not play either of these competitions but who scheduled the first round of the Premier League at the same time as the Olympics Final?
Mike Gaynes
2 Posted 27/02/2020 at 07:32:21
Interesting confluence of schedules -- the Copa America final will be played July 12, the first Olympic football game on July 22 -- but it's not a topic to be worried about in February.

We'll know more by June 1, the deadline for determining whether the Olympics will even be held.

Colin Glassar
3 Posted 27/02/2020 at 07:51:26
I hope he's not moaning about being tired in October.
Liam Reilly
4 Posted 27/02/2020 at 07:55:29
I don't think the Copa America is annually, it's just being held this year to bring it in line with the Euros and hence 2 years to each World Cup.

I don't think he should play in both though as Everton will no doubt suffer when he's burnt out.

Andy Wilkinson
5 Posted 27/02/2020 at 08:25:52
Let's hope our recruitment in the summer means we are not so very reliant on Richarlison as we seem to be at the moment. Let's get this season finished first with hopefully a Euro spot secured, then we can worry about the first few games of next season.

Maybe a chance for Moise Kean to step up and get a run of games?

Mike Benjamin
6 Posted 27/02/2020 at 08:49:02
If he is, Colin (#3), then it will probably be because of the amount of work he does on the pitch, including covering for some of his ‘lazy arsed' teammates.
Dave Abrahams
7 Posted 27/02/2020 at 09:33:30
Mike (6), cast your mind back to the start of this season and continuing for a good portion of the season, Richarlison was very poor in most of those games. Everton was the team that suffered while Brazil got the best of him during the summer. It doesn't seem to count who pays his wages, either to Brazil or the player.
Derek Knox
8 Posted 27/02/2020 at 10:42:48
If reports elsewhere are to be believed, Richie has allegedly pledged his future to Everton and will be resistant to any offers in the Summer. Furthermore he has, again allegedly, said he would rather concentrate on Everton getting into the Europa or Champion's League places than worry about playing for Brazil.

Very encouraging if true, I just wish others had as much commitment as him, but no doubt the Summer will see a decent re-shuffle without infringing FFP Rules.

Rob Marsh
9 Posted 27/02/2020 at 11:57:33
Is it not the case that the tail is now wagging the dog?

Clubs such as ours and others around the world existed long before these International "Organising" bodies, who take our players for free and make profit from them we'll never see and in the process exhaust them.

If the clubs and the leagues told them were to go they and the players would just have to accept it, but I'm dreaming!

Jay Wood

10 Posted 27/02/2020 at 14:22:34
Two things:

1) With the spread of the coronavirus running headlong towards becoming a world pandemic, many an international sporting event faces the very real possibility of being totally cancelled.

In particular, I consider this year's Formula One race calendar under real threat. It entails transporting 1000s of people and equipment of every possible nationality between multiple countries every 1-2-3 weeks.

That is a moving petri dish which could facilitate and accelerate the spread of the virus.

There is a helluva lot of money invested in the F1 roadshow, but it shouldn't talk loud enough to permit the travelling circus to potentially spread the virus around the globe.

Unless and until the spread of the coronavirus diminishes, or an antedote is found, ALL sporting events are under threat of being cancelled.

(And how delicious would it be if the PL season could not be completed this year and all results null and voided..? Just putting it out there).

Italian Serie A games already cancelled. The rugby international between Ireland and Italy likewise. This is just the start.

2) Even if all events go ahead, no player can be expected to play in two summer tournaments in the same year. It also occured at the last Olympics here in Brazil when it coincided with the Copa America.

Neymar very much wanted to compete in his home Olympics, naturally, and it was agreed between all parties - the player himself, Barcelona and the Brazil national team - that he would play the Olympics but not the Copa America.

Commonsense will prevail. Richarlison will simply not be allowed by Everton to compete in both.

PS - as already pointed out, the Copa America is not now an annual event as stated in the opening post. It has had a very scatty and variable schedule in its history, but they are staging the tournament again this year with the intention of aligning it with the Euros to take place every four years to reduce its impact on the international calendar.

Mike Gaynes
11 Posted 27/02/2020 at 15:04:14
Dave #7, no, it doesn't. Not in the modern world. If the young man wants to play for his country, he's going to do so, and I think an internationally-minded manager like Carlo will support that ambition, not object to it.

And if he gets tired, hey, he's 22, he'll get over it.

Dave Abrahams
12 Posted 27/02/2020 at 15:22:59
Mike, (11), yes I know it doesn't count, I also know if a player wants to play for his country then he will, I know loads of fans will support the players ambition,I also know if the player gets tired he will get over, which he did, and while we ( Everton fans) waited for him to get over the tiredness he wasn't very good, which brings us back to, The club pays his wages and suffer for it and so do the fans, which is what I said in the first place Mike.

Anyway how are you and your family, especially your wife, is she still in China?, if not, I hope she gets back soon to help you pack your bags for your next trip to Liverpool, very best wishes and good health to you and your family, hope to see you soon.

Paul Jones
13 Posted 27/02/2020 at 16:45:58
As an Everton fan given that we was a host for the 66 World Cup I think we should release our players for international competitive tournaments. We chose to buy Richarlison knowing the possible consequences should he be successful.
We were badly affected when we lost Neville Southall due to an injury in a international match but gained enormous credit in the years that followed. If were are just a sports brand like others we make it difficult to attend and put our commercial interest first. If not we should let someone play for their country and fulfil their ambitions.
Dan Nulty
14 Posted 27/02/2020 at 17:20:27
He has us over a barrel if we want to keep him. Agree to it if he signs up to a new long term contract heavily linked to performance a la Tottenham.
Mike Gaynes
15 Posted 27/02/2020 at 18:34:43
Dave #12, thanks for asking... my wife and the family are still locked down at home in Wuhan, with no idea when the quarantine might be lifted -- another month, two months, nobody knows. The good news is everybody's healthy. The bad news is they're really bored.

I still hope to make it over and visit you this spring. Appreciate the good wishes, my friend.

Dave Abrahams
16 Posted 27/02/2020 at 18:54:43
Sorry to hear that Mike, it must be frustrating for them, stuck in with nowhere to go, but thank God they are in good health, be glad to see you in the future, but I don't have to tell you you're family comes first, once everything gets back to normal you can think of coming back here to watch the Blues and see your Blue family, best wishes Mike.
Rob Marsh
17 Posted 27/02/2020 at 19:09:24
Mike Gaynes # 15

Is this basically a permanent curfew? If so, how do they get food?

I understand what you're going through, at the time of Fukushima disaster in Japan I had family there and close Fukushima.

Brian Williams
18 Posted 27/02/2020 at 19:11:16
Mike, is there any truth in the rumour you've virtually moved in to "Hooters" as there's nobody around to stop you?

Snowflakes: Don't bother, Mike knows me well, as I do him so I know how he'll take my comment. :-)

Mike Benjamin
19 Posted 27/02/2020 at 19:49:52
Dave #7. Not as effective as he is now but still our best player at the time. Don't forget playing for the national team on a regular basis is one of the main reasons his value has at least doubled.
Dave Abrahams
20 Posted 27/02/2020 at 20:00:53
Mike (19), he is still not consistent, he was very good last week versus Arsenal, he came alive after seventy minutes versus Palace when he scored a very good goal, contributed to the winning goal versus Watford, in the last minute, had done little of note before that, I agree playing for Brazil will add to his fee, as to his value, I'm not sure he will go for the money many Everton fans think we will get for him, there is still plenty of room for improvement, and it was notable he started going down quite a bit last week v Arsenal, I thought he had started getting a bit mature with that sort of nonsense.
Martin Mason
21 Posted 27/02/2020 at 20:27:27
Dave, I disagree. He's been consistently exceptional but will obviously struggle against strong teams along with the whole team. He is an amazing player and if we put him on the market the bidders would include all of the top sides in Europe including Liverpool as he has everything. A total snip at what we paid for him. I can accept the absolute rubbish spouted about Pickford but Richarlison? The joke of the season sorry.
Anthony Dove
22 Posted 27/02/2020 at 20:56:53
Martin@21.Agree with every word.
Brian Williams
23 Posted 27/02/2020 at 21:00:47
The mind boggles at his value but if Harry McGuire cost 㿼m.........
Mike Benjamin
24 Posted 27/02/2020 at 21:04:48
Agree Martin and Anthony Richarlison has been our best player since we bought him. His contribution off the ball is often underrated.
Dave Abrahams
25 Posted 27/02/2020 at 21:23:04
Martin (21)” He's been consistently exceptional but will struggle against strong teams” ? Not that exceptional then Martin. In fact to say he has been consistently exceptional is patently obvious just not true,but I wouldn't go as far as to say “ it's the joke of the season, been on the wine again Martin?

Brian (23) Man. United had their pants pulled down over McGuire, like us with Sigurdsson.

Mike (24),yes he works hard off the ball and is possibly underrated, I'd say he was overrated with his work on the ball, still plays in blinkers plenty of times, never sees better positioned team mates, shoots instead of passing, passes instead of shooting.

But to go back to the original argument, I still think Brazil get the better of the deal and when he comes back after playing for them in the summer, that will be two solid years without a break and we will suffer again, even if he doesn't get the mumps like last summer.

Robert Tressell
26 Posted 27/02/2020 at 22:05:51
Personally I see Richarlison as one of the few in world football who could replace Aguero at city or Suarez at Barca or Benzema at Real or Lewandowski at Bayern. The goal against Brighton was absolutely exceptional for example. He's an elite player with outstanding workrate and ability. For all the talk of incoming players - the big transfer challenge this summer is to hang on to him. With better players around him he could be scoring 20 to 30 goals a season. Hopefully it starts next season with us.
Jay Tee
29 Posted 27/02/2020 at 22:33:10
Whilst he is supporting us and wants to do well here to stop him going to either of these competitions will destroy him wanting to stay here. Whilst I don't agree with these games being scheduled when they are, I prefer a non-petulant player who would disrupt what is being built to move us forward. One bad apple sets the rot off.
Mike Benjamin
30 Posted 27/02/2020 at 23:07:58

We are not going to agree on this one, Playing for Brazil has undoubtedly helped his development including building confidence. There are very few forwards of his type who can play anywhere across the front line, excellent in the air as well as on the floor.

He will consistently get well into double-figure tallies each season and if he had a creative midfield supporting him would probably get many more. Given his tender age we have a diamond on our hands.

Kieran Kinsella
31 Posted 27/02/2020 at 23:13:02
Any sportsman wants to go to the Olympics, even if it's not the premier tournament for their sport. Likewise, any real football man wants to play for his country. It doesn't help Everton any but personally I don't think we should stand in his way.
Jerome Shields
32 Posted 27/02/2020 at 23:16:25
Has been playing well for Everton. I am sure the Club will work with him.

Mike #15

Hope your family keep safe and well.

Derek Thomas
33 Posted 28/02/2020 at 00:52:38
Needs to be given the hard word on this...Also, what's the point of this winter break then? One or the other not both.
Mick Davies
34 Posted 28/02/2020 at 03:17:01
I wouldn't want him to fall out with the club, and just this summer wouldn't be disastrous as he's only young and it would be worth it if we got another 5 years from him.

What worries me is the Argentines and other South American countries whose players like to disable skillful, attacking opponents. If he comes back knackered, but in one piece and committed to the Toffees I'll be happy.

John Pierce
35 Posted 28/02/2020 at 04:23:05
You just need to peer back into the recent past, Richarlison played himself into the ground. The pride playing for Brazil trumps everything in a Brazilian's world. A far cry for the way we view English players.

I think his rising value and his importance to the team, it's gonna be extremely hard to stop him playing both tournaments. The lad will no doubt already know his value, Everton can not afford to piss the lad off. That's the world we live in.

To be fair, it's not him that we should be irritated with, the governing bodies allowing the Copa America to change in an Olympic year is just shitty. Wadda ya gonna do?

Look at Sanchez, he's a wreck after running himself into the ground, after a similar situation surfaced with back to back Copa America, Confederations Cup, and World Cup. He's a shell of a player.

You can only hope he gets good advice.

Mike Gaynes
36 Posted 28/02/2020 at 06:30:07
Rob #17, wow, I would very much like to hear that history over a Guinness sometime. In answer to your question, they order rice and fresh vegetables from the countryside that are delivered in big boxes and left outside the door.

Brian #18, the nearest thing to a Hooters this little town has is a gas station that sells fried chicken. Hooters is about 300 miles from here.

Martin Mason
37 Posted 28/02/2020 at 08:27:15
Dave@25 Surely even "exceptional" players will struggle when the side they are in struggle? Exceptional doesn't mean that they have to be exceptional at all times, form cycles, class like Richarlison's is permanent. I can watch him all day and would love to see him in a very good side. I think he's a far more complete player than even Aguero because of his amazing strength and one of the better players I've ever seen at Everton given how hard it is to shine in the modern game.
Jim Harrison
38 Posted 28/02/2020 at 08:57:03
I think in a time where players are deemed to be becoming more aloof and detached from the public and reality that it's is admirable that he values playing for his country so highly. And rightly so. Playing for a Brazil is pretty good endorsement!
As for the player he is for Everton, early season all expectation was on him. No one else in the team bar Siggy scored as many or looked like scoring many. Lots of pressure and in a team that was stuttering. He has regained form now, and looks like equalling his haul from last season isn't unlikely.
He has been playing in a team with a patched up midfield for all but a handful of games! A pretty easy player for opponents to focus on because virtually no other player we have could have been considered a danger man

I hope we can hold onto him for a good few years and get a player on the opposite side in the same bracket. Even with DCL up top or maybe we see the reason Kean is so highly rated, that would be a forward line to be reckoned with

Dave Abrahams
39 Posted 28/02/2020 at 09:19:41
Mike (30), no we won't agree on this,but I agree he will be better with a better midfield offering him more chances, the same goes for DCL.

He's a good player, hopefully he will get better, there's plenty of scope for improvement, I've no real argument with him playing for Brazil, I'm saying it will be to detriment of Everton.

Martin (37), you hold on to that consistently exceptional that you see in your minds eye, he must be terrific, back in the real world I'll continue to watch a good player who hopefully gets better and more consistent.

Mike Benjamin
40 Posted 28/02/2020 at 14:14:33
Dave, I guess what you mean is playing too much for Brazil rather than not at all?

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