Richarlison has provided us with one of the early highlights of the Qatar World Cup and a contender for goal of the tournament.
The Brazilian striker stood tall for the Seleção with superstar Neymar limping off the field with an ankle injury during a 2-0 win over Serbia in the last of the first round of group games.
Tottenham’s Richarlison scored both Brazil’s goals — the first a simple tap-in in the 62nd minute, but the second an absolute worldie.
Having broken the deadlock about 10 minutes earlier, Richarlison positioned himself in the box as Vinícius Júnior worked his way past the Serbian defence on the left wing.
His outside-of-the-boot cross came in low and Richarlison, with his back to goal, trapped with his left, the ball spinning just over his head near the penalty spot.
The former Everton man spun around and leapt off the ground and sent the ball rocketing past Serbian goalkeeper Vanja Milinkovic-Savic and 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 was going to 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 that I had and I did.”
The strike was so sweet that its brilliance was clearly visible even from high up in the Lusail Stadium.
Fellow Brazilian Fernandinho posted a video on Twitter of Richarlison practising his acrobatic on a trampoline, saying: “The Pigeon (Richarlison’s nickname) has been practising this goal for some time at home.”
Retired US Men’s National Team player Alecko Eskandarian called it early as the “goal of the tournament” on Twitter.
Neymar, seeking his first major title with Brazil, stayed at 75 goals for the national team, two shy of Pelé’s scoring record.
He was tackled hard a few times and hurt his right ankle in the second half.
He was limping at one point and ended up crying on the bench after being substituted in the 79th, taking off his boot to show significant swelling on his ankle.