Ronaldo inspires Richarlison as Brazil chase down Copa America glory on home soil

Richarlison has revealed Brazil legend Ronaldo to be his inspiration as he prepares to chase down Copa America glory at the Maracana.

The Selecao are one game away from international glory on home soil.

Peru stand in their way in Sunday’s final, with Tite’s men having swept aside old adversaries Argentina in the last four to edge a step closer to the title.

Richarlison is hoping to play some part in a showpiece event after being laid low with an untimely bout of mumps.

Illness kept him out of a meeting with Lionel Messi and Co in the semi-finals.

The Everton forward is, however, in contention for a run out at a legendary venue which has been graced by a number of iconic figures from Brazil’s past.

“I'm trying very hard to improve my English,” Richarlison told the St. Domingo zine

“It's interesting to learn the history of this famous ground and to know that the great names of Pele and Ronaldo have also played before me here.

“It makes me want to continue to represent Brazil here.”

Richarlison Brazil Qatar Friendly 05062019

Pressed further on who his idols are, Richarlison added: “Ronaldo, especially. I grew up watching his goals on YouTube.

“The two goals against Germany in the 2002 World Cup final bring back a lot of joy for me.

“It was a big moment of inspiration to go outside and emulate him.”

Richarlison has taken in 12 appearances for Brazil to date, netting five goals.

Every time he finds the target, the opportunity presents itself to bring out his famous pigeon dance celebration.

Explaining where that comes from, the 22-year-old said: “The celebration is from a holiday with my friends in Rio.

“We were playing football on the beach and, for some reason, I created this celebration.

“It brought joy in the moment, and I decided to take it on to the pitch when I scored.

“It really is a beautiful thought to imagine the joy the celebration brings the fans.”

Richarlison broke into the Brazil squad in 2018 after completing a big-money move to Everton.

He recorded 14 goals in his debut campaign with the Toffees and is now looking to end the footballing year on a high with international honours.