Neymar made a surprise appearance on Everton’s social media channels on Wednesday as he presented his Brazil team-mate Richarlison with an award. Richarlison was belatedly named Everton’s Player of the Season for the 2019-20 campaign, which was heavily disrupted due to coronavirus.
The 23-year-old – who joined Everton from Watford in 2018-19 – scored 15 goals in 41 appearances across all competitions for the Toffees last term.
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He has made no secret of his admiration for Neymar, who he has played at the international level, and the Paris Saint-Germain superstar made a guest appearance to present Richarlison with the award.
“Hey Richarlison, I am so happy for you, congratulations on your season,” Neymar said in a video published on Everton’s official Twitter feed. “Here it is, your Player of the Season award for Everton. Congratulations on this achievement, I know you’re the first Brazilian [to win this award].
“I’m very happy for you. I hope you keep on scoring goals, helping your club, your team-mates and you know that I am always wishing you the best. All the best, congratulations, here’s your trophy. It’s a great pleasure for me to give it to you.”
Richarlison tweeted: “Today is a very special day for me. Receiving the best player of the season award, playing by one of the most traditional clubs in Europe, and from the hands of a guy who is my childhood idol, but who also became a teammate and a friend that the football gave me is kinda surreal.
“Thanks, Everton! Thank you, fans! And thanks for the surprise and the message, Neymar. I haven’t worded for thank you for all affection. “Buoyed by the signings of James Rodriguez, Allan and Abdoulaye Doucoure, Everton have made an impressive start to 2020-21 season.
Richarlison is yet to score, but provided two assists and was directly involved in four goals in Everton’s 5-2 win over West Brom last time out. Neymar on the other hand has endured a tough start to the new season, which was delayed after his appearance in the Champions League final for PSG against Bayern Munich.
Having suffered a 1-0 loss in the final, Neymar was then sent off for PSG in a bad-tempered defeat to rivals Marseille, in which he alleged he was the victim of racist abuse.