A Tottenham forward making headlines for all the right reasons still hasn’t changed the mind of one former player who simultaneously doubled down on a Liverpool claim and savaged the Spurs star.
Eyebrows were raised when Tottenham committed to £60m including add-ons to sign Everton’s Richarlison over the summer.
The 25-year-old has proven himself a more than capable Premier League player, though doubts were raised as to whether he’s of the quality required to take Spurs to the next level.
Richarlison made an instant impact in the Champions League when scoring a brace to help sink Marseille 2-0 on matchday one. However, his form on the domestic front did not match his European exploits.
Richarlison is yet to score for Tottenham in the Premier League despite making 10 appearances. He has looked threatening when playing and softens up defences, though £60m forwards are expected to score and Richarlison has not.
Nonetheless, he remains a firm fixture in the Brazilian national side and was selected for the World Cup ahead of Liverpool’s Roberto Firmino.
Firmino, 31, has cut a rejuvenated figure at Anfield this season with seven goals scored in 13 league outings. Richarlison’s call-up at Firmino’s expense later went down like a lead balloon with outspoken pundit and former Italy international, Antonio Cassano.
Cassano has developed a reputation for forthright views in his punditry and recently slammed the decision to overlook Firmino.
Cassano lays waste to Richarlison despite Brazil heroics
Brazil boss Tite’s decision looked justified after their World Cup opener against Serbia. Richarlison scored both goals in the 2-0 victory, with his second an acrobatic bicycle kick that had those in attendance purring.
However, Cassano has doubled down on his prior claims, branding Richarlison a naughty Italian word and pouring cold water on his eye-catching goal.
“Brazil has 25 wonderful players, but they lack only one thing,” said Cassano (via TuttoMercatoWeb).
“Since I am a person who does not deny anything, after what I have seen I can confirm that for me Richarlison is a pippa (a common Italian insult for overrated/useless players)
“The stunt on the goal? The truth is that he missed the cut-back and [that’s why] the bicycle kick came out.
“[He] has nothing to do with Brazilian forwards and then he scored a goal into an empty net.”
Richarlison has made a career out of proving the critics wrong, most notably Jamie Carragher.
The Spurs forward is expected to start in Brazil’s second group game against Switzerland on Monday and may well wind Cassano up even more if he continues to shine in Qatar.
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