13 fun facts about Richarlison

Comments (0)
Everything you need to know about the Brazilian striker!

Richarlison de Andrade, commonly known as Richarlison, is a Brazilian professional footballer who currently plays as a forward for Tottenham Hotspur in the Premier League and the Brazilian national team.

Born on May 10, 1997, in Nova Venecia, Espirito Santo, Brazil, he began his footballing journey in his hometown, joining Real Noroeste as a youth player in 2013, moved to America Mineiro a year later and quickly rose through the ranks to make his first-team debut in 2015.

He was signed by Fluminense in 2016, signing a five-year deal with the Brazilian top-flight side before getting plucked by then-Premier League side Watford in July 2017 thanks to his impressive performances, which earned him recognition as one of the brightest talents in Brazilian football.

He made an instant impression at Vicarage Road, scoring five goals in his first 12 league games. His ability to score goals, create chances, and work tirelessly on the field endeared him to the Watford fans.

After a successful debut season in England, Richarlison attracted the interest of Everton. In July 2018, he completed a transfer to the Toffees for a reported fee of £35m, becoming the club's most expensive signing at the time.

The 26-year-old established himself as one of the most talented strikers in the Premier League during his tenure at Goodison Park, scoring 53 times in 152 appearances for the Merseyside club. He also played a critical role as the Toffees narrowly avoided relegation with a 16th-placed finish.

Richarlison joined Tottenham Hotspur from Everton in a £60m move in the summer of 2022. He endured a tough debut season in north London, but there's little doubt that he would come good and become a valuable asset for Spurs.

At the international level, Richarlison made his senior debut for Brazil in 2018. He was a member of both the Brazilian team that won the gold medal at the Olympics in 2020 and Copa America in 2019, while he also starred for the Selecao at the recent 2022 World Cup in Qatar. In total, he has scored 20 goals from 42 appearances for his country.

But what are the 13 things you absolutely need to know about the Spurs striker?

  1. How a football saved Richarlison's life?⚽

    Things could have turned out very differently had it not been for football. While we have heard this statement from quite a few footballers who have come from a poor background, it's quite literally the case with Richarlison as he owes his life to football.

    When he was just 14 years old, an incident nearly resulted in his death. Having unknowingly wandered onto a drug dealer's turf while walking home late from a football game with his friends, the star forward had a gun pressed to his head.

    The drug lord wasn't exactly pleased as he thought they had come to steal his drugs, but Richarlison called for his innocence showing the drug dealer the football. Eventually, the drug distributor let the youngster go with a stern warning never to return.

    He later explained the situation in an interview, saying: "At that moment I was very afraid because he had pulled the trigger then it would have been over. The drug lord told us that if he found us again he would shoot us without any problem - me and my friends.

    "After he lowered his gun, I turned away and started to run. I never went back to that street. I didn't say anything to him. I was very afraid."

  2. Grueling beginnings

    Even before his near-death experience, Richarlison's life was not a bed of roses. The striker was born in a slum area of Nova Venecia, a small town in southeastern Brazil with a population of 50,000, and he loved being outdoors playing football barefooted day and night.

    He is the oldest of five children and only knew poverty as a youth. He managed to escape the rampant drug dealing and various other criminal activities by sticking close to football. His father was a construction worker while his mother did cleaning jobs, but both were separated.

    By the time he was 11, he had to work to supplement his mother’s meagre income. Besides helping his grandfather on the farm, the young boy sold ice cream, popsicles, and washed cars before pursuing his passion for football.

  3. Dad always believed in his football dream

    As with many children from Brazil’s impoverished areas, football was Richarlison’s ticket out of a poor neighbourhood. But talent alone wasn’t going to be enough to propel him to superstardom.

    In his very own words, Richarlison revealed there was no shortage of doubters during his footballing journey: “Some of my friends said I wouldn’t have a future in football, as did some of my family, but I still believed in the potential I had. My mum would tell me I needed to get a proper job but for me I didn’t want to be anything other than a footballer. That led to some tension and frustration between us. It was something I dreamed of doing and I fought until the very end.”

    His father, Antonio Carlos de Andrade, though, identified his son's steely determination and burning desire to make it big in football and continued supporting him during tough moments. The bond between Richarlison and his father remains strong, with the player often expressing his gratitude and appreciation for his father's role in his success.

    “My dad [Antonio Marcus] was the one who registered me in my first school and believed in me more than anyone. I think my dad is the proudest of anyone that I made my debut for Brazil. He and my uncle called me up before the game and said I would score two goals. It was a dream come true and the first goal I scored for Brazil will live with me forever.”

  4. The last chance

    His unwavering dedication paid off, earning him trials with Brazilian clubs Avai and Figueirense. But, just as quickly as his dream started to take off, it was shot down as he failed to impress in both trials, testing his resolve once again.

    He joined Real Noroeste to play in the under-20 championship and caught the eye of a scout from America-MG, who invited him to try out for their youth academy in Belo Horizonte, some 350 miles from home.

    It was the last trial. The last chance. Not only did he need to impress to get his dream back on track, but also because he had no money to pay for transportation back home. “I had a one-way ticket because I got hungry and spent the money for a return ticket on food. I had to succeed,” he revealed in an interview.

    There was no safety net. No do-overs. He even had to borrow a pair of football boots to give his trial, but his gamble paid off when America-MG signed him to the academy in December 2014.

  5. Nicknamed 'Pombo' or the Pigeon for his celebration style🕺
    Getty Images

    Nicknamed 'Pombo' or the Pigeon for his celebration style🕺

    The Brazilian arrived in England from Fluminense in 2017 with a reputation for sparking the "Pombo Dance" in his homeland. When he scores a goal, he often imitates a pigeon's fluttering wings with his arms. This unique celebration has led to the nickname "Pombo" or "the Pigeon" among fans.

    The dance took a while to fully take off, but it took the internet by storm and became one of the images of the Qatar World Cup after Richarlison performed his signature celebration with his Brazilian teammates on the biggest stage.

    Brazilian Pop band Os Perseguidores is the inspiration behind his celebrations. Richarlison himself explained the celebration style, he said: “The pigeon dance came from a group from Rio de Janeiro who had a song in around 2012. A trend was started when I did the dance at home. Everyone started copying me. I think I’ve helped the band’s profile grow because of that. I am hoping to score goals and do the dance I promised, the pigeon dance.”

  6. He was close to joining Ajax
    Christopher Lee/Getty Images

    He was close to joining Ajax

    Ajax are known for identifying and snapping up some of the best talents in world football and they could easily have done the same with Richarlison in the summer of 2017 when they almost signed him for Fluminense at the age of 20. As a matter of fact, they even had everything in place for the deal until Premier League side Watford came calling and eventually stole the march.

    Given that the deal to take him to the Dutch giants was already in its advanced stages it was a difficult one to pull off for the Hornets and it took a call from Marco Silva, who was the Watford boss at the time, to eventually convince him to come to the Premier League.

    Recalling the moment Silva called him for the first time, Richarlison revealed: “I was at home if I’m not mistaken on a Sunday night, I think. He called me and told me he wanted me here at Watford, that he knew of my potential, and that I could play three positions in the attack.

    “And when he called me I got super happy. That day, if I’m not mistaken, I already had the Ajax proposal, and everything was already agreed. Marco Silva called me then, so I changed my mind”.

  7. Idolises R9 & Neymar

    Richarlison has openly expressed his admiration for two iconic Brazilian footballers: Neymar and Ronaldo Nazario. These players have had a profound influence on Richarlison's career and serve as his idols.

    He revealed his admiration for compatriot Neymar in an interview, saying: “Neymar has been an idol of mine since childhood. I’ve always tried to mirror myself in the way he plays and I’ve also tried imitating some of his haircuts. When I was 12 or 13 I had the yellow mohican. I didn’t quite pull it off though because I didn’t have the right hair products."

    He has also admitted that he was awestruck when he met "El Fenomeno" for the first time, and was lost for words.

  8. Tattoos
    Getty / GOAL


    It's one thing to idolise someone. Richarlison went over and above to honour his role models. As stated above, the Brazilian striker was a huge hit at the recent World Cup and marked his adventure with Brazil by getting a new back tattoo - featuring himself, alongside two national legends and his idols, Neymar and Ronaldo Nazario, just days after Brazil's elimination from the World Cup.

    The gesture from Richarlison, though, didn't go down very well with Neymar, with Globo Sport reporting that the PSG star even sent him £26,000 in order to get the tattoo removed.

    Another interesting fact is that Richarlison never had a tattoo till 2020, but eventually joined the trend, and became obsessed over the years. He recently revealed a giant Pigeon ink on his neck. He also got tattoos all along his left arm, which include the likes of Donald Duck, the Tasmanian Devil, Dragon Ball Z character Goku, and Wile E. Coyote.

  9. First Prem player to score Olympic hat-trick

    First Prem player to score Olympic hat-trick

    Richarlison first burst onto the scene for Brazil at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, scoring five goals in six games to finish as the tournament's top scorer in Japan.

    He scored three goals inside the first half-hour of his Olympic football career as Brazil opened with a 4-2 over Germany. With the treble, he became the first player in Premier League history to score a hat-trick at the Games.

  10. His stunning scissor kick voted best goal of Qatar 2022 World Cup

    His stunning scissor kick voted best goal of Qatar 2022 World Cup

    Richarlison recently won the Goal of the Tournament award for his blinder of an overhead scissor kick against Serbia in Brazil's group stage opener at the Qatar World Cup, following the likes of Maxi Rodriguez, Diego Forlan, James Rodriguez and Benjamin Pavard to win the best goal award at a FIFA World Cup.

    He led the line well for his country across the 2022 World Cup and finished as Brazil's top-scorer with three goals. However, it was the Tottenham Hotspur forward's acrobatic strike at World Cup that gained him more than seven million new followers on Instagram.

  11. Hero of the poor🫡 👏

    One may know Richarlison as the quirky dribbling diva who frequently stirs up controversy in the Premier League with his flamboyant football skills and celebratory pigeon dance, however, outside of his football fame, his charity work shows his commitment to contributing to the fight against poverty.

    He holds annual charity football matches in his hometown of Nova Venecia, supporting the impoverished, but aspiring young children in the region by providing football kits, boots, and training equipment. In 2020, attendees and patrons of the event donated 6.4 tonnes of food to those who could not afford to eat.

    Following the extreme flooding in 2020 that struck his hometown, Richarlison donated 500 food parcels to struggling families, while the University of São Paulo appointed him as their ambassador to raise awareness for COVID-related poverty.

    He also donates 10% of his earnings to the maintenance of Instituto Padre Roberto Lettieri in Sao Paulo: a not-for-profit organization that provides sustenance and shelter to cancer patients who cannot afford to provide for themselves. His charity work earned him the PFA Community Champion for the 2019-20 season award.

  12. Tumi ambassador

    Richarlison has always been an outstanding footballer, but his stock has skyrocketed following his exploits at the most recent World Cup in Qatar.

    Those performances, along with an eye-catching celebration style, virtually made him an overnight sensation, and a household name all across the world—enough so that luxury luggage maker TUMI saw fit to make him the face of their brand in 2023. Below is one of the shots from his first campaign for the label which launched in late February.

  13. Likes video games and watching TV 🎮 📺

    When questioned what are his interests off the pitch during an interview with FIFA.com, Richarlison said: "I love playing video games. I watch quite a bit of television too. I love war films. I’ve just been watching The Last Kingdom – it’s really good."

    Watching English shows, and movies actually helped him learn English. You see back in Brazil he didn't ever learn English, so when he moved to England, it must have been pretty tough for him.

    Thus, he set out to learn the language and used various methods to do so, one of which was by watching television and some of the shows that seemed to help him were the BBC Match of the Day, as well as some shows on Netflix. Over time, he eventually began to reap the benefits as his grasp of English got better and better, although it took him several years before he was able to conduct interviews in English.

    As for his love for video games, he has been seen participating in several two-on-two FIFA 23 live challenges in recent months alongside his Spurs teammate Emerson Royal.