Brazil were sweating on Richarlison’s fitness ahead of the 2022 World Cup but could turn to Arsenal star Gabriel Jesus

Brazil’s coaching staff will be eagerly awaiting the news from north London.

How bad is the calf injury suffered by Richarlison during Tottenham’s game against Everton on Saturday?

Richarlison suffered a calf injury while playing for Spurs that could jeopardize his World Championship

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Richarlison suffered a calf injury while playing for Spurs that could jeopardize his World ChampionshipPhoto credit: Getty

He hobbled out of the game and then cut a very worried figure speaking briefly to the Brazilian press on crutches.

While still at Everton, he suffered a similar injury that kept him out of action for two months – and that’s too long for a competition that starts in just over a month.

So the hope is that this time the problem is not so serious. Losing Qatar would be a blow for the player – and a blow for his team as well, as Richarlison has become an integral part of the Brazilian cause in recent months.

For most of last season the team did very well without him. He paid the price for playing both the Copa America and the Olympic tournament in the middle of last year and eating up his entire summer break.

Unsurprisingly, fitness and form have suffered for much of the Premier League season. Meanwhile, Raphinha made a dramatic introduction to international football on Brazil’s right wing and Vinicius Junior exploded as a global star on the left wing.

Brazil were piling up the wins and it seemed likely that the team would go to Qatar with a formation of two wingers and Neymar as a floating false nine.

But there has been a shift in recent months – and Richarlison has changed the game. The prevailing feeling among the Brazilian coaching staff was that the team lacked the presence of the penalty area.

They had a lot of people to prepare the piece, but they needed a specialized finisher. And so Richarlison, now back at his best, got his chance.

And in the last six games he has scored seven goals. The only time he failed to score was when he came off the bench at Japan and won the penalty that allowed Neymar to give Brazil a 1-0 win.

So Richarlison worked well as a team. He’s an uncomplicated player.

Like a blinkered racehorse, he only has eyes for the finish line and his traits perfectly match those of the rest of the team. You make the bullets, he fires them.

If the medical news is bad, what will Brazil do? One possibility is to return to the idea of ​​playing with two wingers and Neymar as a false nine, but bringing in another center forward is more likely.

Flamengo’s Pedro is a contender and will have plenty of local support as one of the few homegrown players in the squad. He is a technically gifted target man but lacks pace.

Atletico Madrid’s Matheus Cunha is a possibility but is still looking for his first senior goal.

The most likely replacement is Arsenal’s Gabriel Jesus, who was dropped from the last squad but is certainly a certainty for Qatar. According to his own statements, his career suffered from the trauma of failing as a center forward at the last World Cup.

But the move has done wonders for his confidence and, after running away from the challenge of being number 9, he’s now ready for it again.

Richarlison worked his way up the Brazilian tally, scoring seven goals in his last six

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Richarlison worked his way up the Brazilian tally, scoring seven goals in his last sixPhoto credit: AFP
The door could be opened for Gabriel Jesus, who was recently dropped by coach Tite

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The door could be opened for Gabriel Jesus, who was recently dropped by coach TitePhoto credit: Getty

His recent record for Brazil is poor – one goal in the last 20 games and a goal in all competitions more than three years ago.

But now that he’s processed past experience, he’s certainly a better player for the experience.

He’s less of a pure penalty area specialist than Richarlison. But if the Tottenham man fails to recover in time, north London will still play a key role in Brazil’s World Cup front.

https://www.the-sun.com/sport/6459675/brazil-richarlison-injury-gabriel-jesus/ Brazil were sweating on Richarlison’s fitness ahead of the 2022 World Cup but could turn to Arsenal star Gabriel Jesus

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