Everton star Richarlison on making Brazil dream come true and connecting with the community

Sport360 staff 10:15 30/03/2019
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We return to Premier League action at West Ham this weekend, determined to build some serious momentum on the back of what was a very encouraging 2-0 victory over Chelsea at Goodison Park two weeks ago.

That win against Maurizio Sarri’s team was important for a number of reasons, not least because we needed to close the gap on the teams up to seventh place in the table.

It was a great result, all of the team played well, and it means we still have plenty to play for between now and the end of the season.

My goal against Chelsea was my 12th in an Everton shirt and my aim is to keep improving.

I want to score in every match and to be in with a chance of finishing among the top scorers in the Premier League.

It is such a great feeling when you hit the back of the net and it means so much for me to be playing among some of the best players in the world.

I was really happy to join Everton last summer and the belief my manager Marco Silva and everyone at the club has shown in me has put me on an upward curve.

Everton is a special club with passionate supporters and a strong connection with the local community.

I have seen that with my own eyes whenever I have taken part in activities for Everton in the Community.

All clubs run community programmes, of course, but few, if any, can match Everton’s for size and scope.

From tackling gang culture and youth crime to supporting people with mental health issues, there is barely a part of life in Liverpool — and particularly in the L4 postal code that is home to Goodison Park and among the most deprived areas in Britain — that the club does not touch.

Seeing that strong connection between the Club and the wider community spurs you on as a player.

I have full belief in what we are trying to achieve here and moving to Everton has helped me to break into the Brazil squad.

I earned my seventh and eighth caps during the international break and it means so much to me to represent my country. It is a dream for many children to play for their national team and I am proud to have achieved that at the age of 21.

It is special to follow in the footsteps of players such as Ronaldo and Neymar, who were huge role models for me growing up.

I tried to mirror how they played and copied Neymar’s haircut as a child so you can imagine what it meant for me to play alongside him when I was first called up by Brazil!

Every Brazilian wants to play for the national team. Now I’m in the squad, but it’s important I keep working hard.

I want to prove I am worthy of wearing the shirt and further down the line, I want to win World Cups with Brazil and do the nation proud.

My aim is to keep improving for both club and country. I have a long road ahead and my focus must be to keep developing and taking on board any advice I am given.

As for our game against West Ham, Marco Silva and our coaching team have been looking at the opposition, meticulously studying them for any weaknesses we can exploit, and we go there with a gameplan.

I’m confident we can do well against West Ham and push on for the rest of the season.

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