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Zabaleta crucial to Richarlison´s Brazil call-up

SoccerNews in Serie A 26 Oct 2018

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West Ham’s Pablo Zabaleta was crucial to Richarlison’s call-up to the Brazil squad, according to assistant coach Sylvinho.

Richarlison – who moved from Watford to Everton in the close-season for a reported £40million plus add-ons – received his maiden call-up for the national team for friendlies against the United States and El Salvador in September, making his only start of four appearances so far against the latter, scoring twice in a 5-0 win.

And, after helping Brazil to a Superclasico de las Americas victory over Argentina, Richarlison has been called up for a third time ahead of clashes with Uruguay and Cameroon.

Tite’s assistant Sylvinho plays a key role in the selection process, and the former Arsenal, Barcelona and Manchester City player said his ex-team-mate Zabaleta was the man who brought Richarlison to his attention.

“I have good friends on the continent, these guys who played with me help me,” Sylvinho told a news conference.

“Zabaleta played against Watford and called me. He asked if we knew we had a spectacular player at Watford.

“He said he was not just good, he was “very good”.

“We’ve been monitoring him and he’s part of our plans, he can play at nine or on the sides.”

Napoli’s Allan is one of two uncapped players to have been selected for the games on November 16 and 20, and Sylvinho acknowledged that the midfielder’s inclusion has been a long time coming.

“He’s been in Europe for seven years. He started in Udinese. In Napoli, he played with Sarri,” Sylvinho said.

“You will not see a number of goals and throughballs, but he is dynamic, performs functions in the middle of the field. He’s here on merit.”

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