- Striker broke down in tears on the bench after being subsituted against Bolivia
- Sources told Mail Sport off-field issues stemmed back as far as 18 months
- Listen to the latest episode of Mail Sport’s podcast ‘It’s All Kicking Off!’
Richarlison does not want a break from football despite revelations he will seek psychological help from Tottenham to settle his mind and cope with the stress caused by months of off-field turbulence.
The Brazil striker broke down in tears on the bench after coming off in the 71st minute of a 5-1 home win against Bolivia on Friday but said his reaction was nothing to do with his performance.
‘That sad moment wasn’t even because I played poorly, in my opinion I didn’t play a bad game in Belem,’ said Richarlison, speaking after a 1-0 win in Peru, on Tuesday, another game when he started and came off without scoring.
‘It was more of an outburst about the things that were happening off the field, which got out of control. Not on my part but on the part of people who were close to me. I’m going to go back to England to seek psychological help from a psychologist, to work on my mind.
‘I went through a turbulent time in the last five months off the field. People who only had an eye on my money walked away from me. Now things are right at home. Now things will start to flow, I’m sure I’ll get a good run at Tottenham and make things happen again. I’ll come back stronger.
Richarlison plans to seek support for his mental wellbeing upon his return to England
The forward was seen in tears after being substituted during Brazil’s 5-1 victory over Bolivia
The Brazil player has attributed his unsettled feelings with months of off-field turbulence
‘It’s about getting a good streak at Tottenham. This week I’m going to sit down and talk to them. I need a good streak, get the rhythm of the game.’
Sources in Brazil told Mail Sport the origins of this go back 18 months, and is a dispute involving people from within Richarlison’s close circle of friends and associates, who are accused of betraying his trust.
Also that the problem worsened at the time of the World Cup in Qatar, where he was first advised to seek therapy by those aware of the impact it was having on his state of mind – and during the time immediately afterwards when he was out injured.
There have been reports in the Brazilian media about Richarlison splitting with his long-time advisor Renato Velasco. In 2021, two other agents opened legal action in Brazil, demanding unpaid earnings from the footballer, relating to five years from 2015.
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‘He’s going to turn things around,’ said a source in Brazil. ‘Now, we need to give him time and peace of mind.’
Richarlison does not want to stop playing but will rather try to train his focus on his football and get away from the off-field disruption, including social media where he has been a target for abuse because of recent performances, especially for Brazil.
Spurs will provide any support he needs. They have no dedicated sports psychologist on the backroom staff but have experts to work with individuals when required. Some players prefer to work closely their own psychologists or life-coaches on these sorts of matters. Others prefer to work with club staff.
Richarlison, 26, has been under scrutiny for his lack of goals. He has scored only four goals in 40 appearances in all competitions since his £60million transfer from Everton, in the summer of 2022.
The 26-year-old has been targeted by Brazil fans on social media over his recent performances
Richarlison isn’t seeking to take a break from playing and will look to rediscover his goalscoring form with Tottenham on Saturday
His first season at Tottenham was made difficult by injuries and his role in the team, often coming on as a substitute or playing in different positions from one game to the next.
He has retained his place as Brazil’s first choice centre forward and has an impressive record of 20 goals in 45 games for his country, but none since the World Cup, where he started the tournament with a brilliant volleyed goal against Serbia and ended injured.
Ange Postecoglou turned to Richarlison to lead the line for Spurs when Harry Kane left for Bayern Munich last month and the Brazilian has scored once, in a Carabao Cup tie at Fulham. He was then replaced up front by Heung-min Son for the last game, a 5-2 win at Burnley, when Son scored hat trick.
Postecoglou’s team return to action at home to Sheffield United on Saturday.
IT’S ALL KICKING OFF!