Richarlison has lit up the World Cup with his goals for Brazil and is causing almost as much of a stir with his distinctive “Pombo” goal celebration dance.
Richarlison demonstrated the head-bopping, bird-like dance after netting Brazil’s third goal in a 4-1 round of 16 victory over South Korea, and the Selecao even managed to rope head coach Tite into attempting the Pombo on the touchline.
The distinctive dance has created a buzz around the world but supporters of Richarlison’s English club sides are well-acquainted with the 25-year-old’s avian tendencies.
By the time he joined Watford from Fluminense in 2017, Richarlison already had a reputation for breaking out his Pombo celebration after scoring goals, and he revealed the inspiration came from Rio de Janeiro pop group Os Perseguidores.
Supporters of Everton and Tottenham will be familiar with the Pombo given he has celebrated goals for both clubs with the dance, which will be one of the abiding memories of the 2022 World Cup following Brazil’s emphatic win over South Korea.
Tite was not the only one taking dance lessons from Richarlison, who showed former Selecao striker Ronaldo how to perform the celebration.
Depois da grande vitória de 4×0 para Brasil contra Coreia do Sul, a gente fez questão de juntar o Fenômeno com a sensação do momento, Richarlison Pombo!@FIFAWorldCup #ronaldotv #ronaldo #richarlison #fifaworldcup #brasil pic.twitter.com/DlQgJfHimz
— RonaldoTV (@RonaldoTV09) December 5, 2022
Richarlison’s two goals against Serbia and his strike against South Korea have already ensured his place in World Cup history.
His goal celebration becoming a viral sensation reflects the rise that has seen him become one of world football’s best attacking talents.
At recent World Cups it has been hard for any player to grab the headlines from Neymar, but Richarlison has been every bit as dangerous — and flamboyant — as his teammate in 2022.
Se você está Richarlisado ou Pombolizado, você está correto 🕊️
— GOAL Brasil (@GoalBR) December 6, 2022
The celebration has not been without controversy, with Tite drawing criticism from the likes of former Manchester United midfielder Roy Keane for joining in with Richarlison’s Pombo.
But Tite hit back, insisting the the dance was performed as a demonstration of joy rather than an act of disrespect toward Brazil’s opponents.
— Richarlison Andrade (@richarlison97) December 6, 2022
Dancing goal celebrations by Brazilian players are nothing new, and Richarlison’s moment in the spotlight is reminiscent of Bebeto’s “holding the baby” celebration after scoring in Brazil’s 3-2 win over the Netherlands at the 1994 World Cup.