Richarlison has given us one of the first World Cup highlights in Qatar and a goal-of-the-tournament contender.
The Brazilian striker found himself right in front of the Seleção as superstar Neymar stumbled off the field with an ankle injury during a 2-0 win over Serbia in the final of the first round of group matches.
Tottenham’s Richarlison scored both of Brazil’s goals – the first a simple tap in the 62nd minute, but the second an absolute world goal.
Having broken the deadlock about 10 minutes earlier, Richarlison positioned himself in the penalty area as Vinícius Júnior worked his way past the Serbian defense on the left wing.
His out-of-boot cross came in low and Richarlison, with his back to goal, was caught with his left hand, spinning the ball just over his head at the penalty spot.
The former Everton man turned and jumped off the ground, firing the ball past Serbian goalkeeper Vanja Milinkovic-Savic into the net with his right foot in a sensational scissor kick.
“My childhood dream has come true,” said the 25-year-old, who is playing in his first World Cup.
“We knew it would be difficult to get past them. I’m used to playing against defensive teams like this in England.
“I wanted to take advantage of the opportunities I had and I did.”
The blow was so sweet that the glare was clearly visible even from high up in Lusail Stadium.
Fellow Brazilian Fernandinho posted a video on Twitter of Richarlison practicing his acrobatics on a trampoline, saying, “The pigeon (Richarlison’s nickname) has been practicing this goal at home for some time.”
Retired U.S. men’s national team player Alecko Eskandarian called it the “goal of the tournament” on Twitter early on.
Neymar, in search of his first major title with Brazil, remained on 75 goals for the national team, two short of Pelé’s scoring record.
He was tackled hard a few times and injured his right ankle in the second half.
He was limping at one point and wound up crying on the bench after being substituted in the 79th, taking off his shoe to show significant ankle swelling.