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Richarlison takes flight to give Brazil lift-off at World Cup

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A show of what’s to come, and also a throwback. Brazil illustrated why they are favourites for this competition with a commanding victory, but inherent to that was how Richarlison offered a first truly magic World Cup moment from the Selecao in perhaps two decades.His sensational goal, that was at once deft and fluid but also thunderous and definitive, was the sort of play that created the country’s football fame in the first place; that sparked the imagination… that made you want to watch them.It was up there with Pele’s dummy, Josimar’s swerve and Ronaldo’s swivel.

It was also the crowning moment for both this 2-0 win over Serbia and Richarlison’s fine individual performance, as the Tottenham Hotspur striker scored both goals.Given the problematic nature of this World Cup, it is worth pointing out that Qatar now has the benefit of forever being associated with a moment that will be replayed for years; that will become part of the World Cup’s lore.In this case, it might well become a core part of Brazil’s rebirth and reclaiming of a trophy they have made their own.That is the calculation Qatar have made in hosting the tournament.

That is the emotional blackmail of this World Cup, and also the simple beauty of football.No matter what your feelings on this tournament, it is impossible to see that and not have an instinctive emotional response.

It was too good to watch, too impressive.There was first of all the touch at pace to both put the ball under his spell and set it up, and then there was the acrobatic leap to power it into the bottom corner with an overhead.The Lusail Stadium roared its amazement and approval.

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