I arrived at the Lusail Stadium full of expectations, like all the fans — and not just Brazilians, but the whole world — to see the performance of the Brazilian team.
But the first half was sleepy, with so much slowness and passes to the side. Serbia dictated the slow pace of the game and Brazil accepted it with total passivity, without any boldness.
The lineup with three forwards and Neymar in the frame made us dream that the team would go to the top. But in the first half, it was the complete opposite.
Vinícius Jr and Raphinha ran more after the side than went for it. It was a first half of bureaucratic football and very boring to watch, without initiative. Except for a great pass from Thiago Silva to Vinícius Jr, who forced the Serbian goalkeeper to come out at the attacker’s feet, because it was a goal ball.
Serbia played the game they wanted, keeping possession even if they only played sideways, waiting for an opening to cross in the air to Mitrovic – which they managed sometimes with danger.
Neymar was a completely faded figure in the first half. He didn’t create, he didn’t shoot on goal, he didn’t give an important pass. Incidentally, he lost the ball a lot in an attempt to dribble in dead places on the field.
Richarlison was very bad in the first stage. He was not comfortable playing completely with his back to goal.
In the second half, some things stayed the same, but a lot has changed.
What stayed the same?
The weak football that Neymar played, with many passing errors, lacking speed and far removed from the pace of play of the other players on the national team. He can be important, yes, in this Cup, but accepting that the role has changed feet.
It’s time for Vinícius Jr, Rodrygo, Antony and, obviously, Richarlison.
And what has changed?
Aggressiveness and speed of selection improved a lot. Brazil began to dictate the pace and dynamics of the match, and that really pleased me.
But I’m going to talk about the player who came back different from the break and practically decided the match.
That was not found the first time all. And, in the second, they didn’t find him inside the area.
The first goal was pure opportunism, from a smart and focused guy inside the area. Because a goal like that only makes those who are connected to the game. Fighting spirit never lacked for Richarlison, not on the ball and much less in life.
The second was a great goal: he dominated the ball, went up and, with a volley, defined the game.
In the Brazilian national team, nobody deserved more than Richarlison to start the Cup in that way.
A guy who hasn’t lost his roots and cares about his country, without needing a candidate or political party.
He did buy an oxygen cylinder when people in Manaus were suffocating to death because of the perversity and incompetence of former Minister Pazuello and his boss.
Richarlison tells his story of poverty and is proud of what he has built in his life through hard work and talent.
He scored the two winning goals in Brazil’s debut in the Cup, but he had already been scoring great goals for the Brazilian people for some time.
I think the kids of the world are seeing a true idol emerge. An idol who doesn’t show off, who cares, who, despite being a player for the Brazilian national team in a World Cup, is, before that, a true Brazilian citizen.