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Richarlison praised as ‘idol Brazilians deserve’ after Bolsonaro era | Brazil

sIcharlison’s “Barnstormer Ballet” has been called one of the great goals of the World Cup; An unstoppable scissor kick launched Brazil’s campaign in Qatar into high gear. But after his lightning brace against Serbia, the Tottenham striker is celebrating with more than just a sporting hero.

Brazilian fans, analysts and politicians lined up to hail Richarlison as a model of human decency, compassion and common sense after four grueling years during which the far-right government of Jair Bolsonaro divided society, destroyed the environment and mishandled the Covid outbreak that has killed nearly 700,000 citizens. .

“Richarlison is the Brazilian idol he deserves after so much suffering,” sports journalist Talita Vespa wrote Friday in one of many tributes to the player’s off-field activism and philanthropy.

Richarlison—or pigeons, as fans know him, thanks to his bird-style celebrations—is by far Brazil’s most progressive member. Seleção. In recent years, as his homeland fell under the control of the far-right Bolsonaro administration, Richarlison has spoken out repeatedly on topics such as racism, poverty, policing, gender violence, LGBT rights, and environmental destruction.

Wondering how the Brazilian yellow jersey was dragged into the country’s political strife, Jaguar relied to highlight the threats to Brazil’s Pantanal territory.

A selection of the front pages of Brazilian newspapers on Friday.
A selection of the front pages of Brazilian newspapers on Friday.

When British journalist Dom Phillips and Brazilian indigenous expert Bruno Pereira disappeared in the Amazon in June, Richarlison was one of the first celebrities to campaign to try and find them. “On top of everything, he’s sensitive and committed to Brazil,” Pereira’s widow, Beatriz Matos, tweeted to the player on Friday.

During Brazil’s devastating coronavirus emergency — which Bolsonaro dubbed “the little flu” — Richarlison publicly endorsed vaccination efforts that had been undermined by the science-denying president.

“He’s not only a star on the field, he’s a superstar too,” said slum activist René Silva, recalling how Richarlison donated oxygen cylinders to the city of Manaus Amazon when its healthcare system collapsed during the pandemic.

The outpouring of adoration for Richarlison, while perhaps a little excessive, reflects how desperate millions of progressive fans were to fall in love with a team with which many were deeply disappointed, said Juca Kfoury, one of Brazil’s top football writers.

Particularly responsible for this estrangement was Neymar, who alienated millions of progressive Brazilians by supporting Bolsonaro’s failed re-election bid and then promising to dedicate his first World Cup goal to him. Other players, including defender Dani Alves, also supported Bolsonaro, who lost the October elections to former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.

Richarlison represents a more loving and tender side to the Brazilian Seleção,” He said Kfoury. “He is seen as a citizen who really cares about Brazil.”

Bolsonaro has been silent since losing an election last month and has said nothing about Brazil’s victory in Qatar. In contrast, left-wing politicians have united in commemorating Richarlison and teammate Vinicius Jr, who helped create Thursday’s sensational goal and has also been outspoken on issues such as racism.

“More than just a great player, Richarlison is a model citizen,” Labor politician Paulo Pimenta wrote on Twitter.

Writing on his black website Alma Prieta, journalist Pedro Borges described the state of euphoria in which he found himself after watching the brilliance of Richarlison and Vinicius. He wrote: “Not only because Brazil won… [but] Because the outstanding players were black athletes who respected our history, who did not ignore the suffering of people and understand the role they play in our country.”

Renee Silva said Richarlison’s off-field endeavors, which also include helping cancer patients, have made him an inspiration to children and teens. “He’s a Brazilian idol,” said Silva. “After everything we’ve been through, this was a moment of hope.”

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