Evolved: a turn later, Riquelme finds CSA on the rise and with the longest streak at Vasco | Vasco

Player who has evolved the most at Vasco after the arrival of Fernando Diniz, left-back Riquelme has in the duel with CSA a watershed in his career in Vasco’s professional team. In the first round, when the teams tied 2-2, it took a dance by Gabriel, ex-Flemish, and the team’s worst score in the ge analysis.

One hundred days later, next Friday, at 9:30 pm, in São Januário, he meets the people of Alagoas with another status: he is living his longest streak in the team of matches, he is the absolute starter and one of the highlights of Vasco with Diniz. Remember the scenarios:

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Riquelme dominates the ball in the first half of Vasco x Coritiba — Photo: Alexandre Durão

Charge for hiring a left-back

After a good Carioca, right-handed Zeca started to drop a lot of performance on the left flank. When he played on the other side or was suspended, the solutions were Riquelme himself, who was initially unable to match in the state, and improvisations by midfielder Michel and midfielder MT.

MT even broke a branch in Carioca, but his characteristics never hid that he is a midfielder. In Series B, it did not maintain the level when moved to the sector. And Michel had a very short lifespan at the club, as he was soon injured.

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Thus, with Léo Matos suspended and Zeca designated to play the right side, Riquelme was selected as a starter against CSA, the first game after Marcelo Cabo’s departure and the last one before Lisca’s debut. In the duel played at Pelé Stadium, on July 21, the young man, who was a month and seven days away from turning 19, had a performance well below average.

The Bahian Gabriel, a contested player in Flamengo’s times, won most of the individual duels with Riquelme, scored a goal for the sector and almost missed another. The boy was replaced by interim Alexandre Gomes at 13 minutes of the final stage, giving way to Léo Jabá – MT went to the side.

Highlights: CSA 2 x 2 Vasco, for the 13th round of the Brasileirão Serie B

Highlights: CSA 2 x 2 Vasco, for the 13th round of the Brasileirão Serie B

Seven days later, at the press conference after the 2-0 defeat by São Paulo, Lisca admitted that he was mapping out reinforcements and the possibility of asking the Vasco board for a left-back.

– We don’t have a very characteristic player (shirt 5), maybe Romulo and Andrey, who made the position of second defensive midfielder. If we don’t find a solution in the group, we may have to look outside the group. In the question on the left side, we are seeing Riquelme’s maturity, evaluating the boy, and analyzing in these 10 or 15 days if we can see another situation – said the coach.

After a “refrigerator” with Lisca, Riquelme blossoms with Diniz

Riquelme didn’t play with Lisca. He suffered a sprain in his left ankle the day after the coach’s debut (4-1 rout over Guarani) during training, lost the next three rounds and more games against São Paulo in the Copa do Brasil. He returned to appear on the bench from the 18th to the 22nd round, but the coach from Rio Grande do Sul did not give him a single minute. Behold, Fernando Diniz arrived.

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In Diniz’s debut, in a 1-1 draw with the CRB, Riquelme was on the bench, but did not enter. In the next round, with Zeca suspended, the boy started, but was discreet in the draw with Cruzeiro (1-1). Against Brusque (win by 1-0), even without having played, the bank saw the opportunity arise with the expulsion of Léo Matos. And he grabbed it the best way three days later, in the 2-0 victory over Goiás.

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Author of the assist for Vasco's first goal, Riquelme pays homage to his grandfather and gets emotional

Author of the assist for Vasco’s first goal, Riquelme pays homage to his grandfather and gets emotional

Incumbent, the shirt 45 played very well and gave a perfect cross for Morato to open the score. (see below). After the tray pass, he immediately began to cry, something he repeated in an interview while still in the field. In it, he paid tribute to grandfather José Manoel, victim of Covid-19 (look above).

At 29 min of the 1st half - Morato do Vasco headed goal against Goiás

At 29 min of the 1st half – Morato do Vasco headed goal against Goiás

From then on, Riquelme fell in the favor of the fans and returned to live a glorious journey in the victory over the leader Coritiba, by 2-1, on the last 16th. Elastic and crossed three fingers. He had his name shouted by the fans four times during the final stage. In the post-game, Fernando Diniz filled his pupil’s ball.

– Talking about Riquelme is easy. An extremely talented player. I don’t think he even knew how good he is yet. A very humble guy. With the potential he has, he makes difficult things look easy. In reality this is what happens. I don’t think he even knows how to do it. He is a player who will mature and is already maturing. He is a player who, for me, has a bright future ahead – projected Diniz.

See Riquelme's dribbles, from Vasco, against Coritiba

See Riquelme’s dribbles, from Vasco, against Coritiba

Three months after the disappointing performance in Maceio, Riquelme is another. In addition to having jumped from 18 to 19, he has had his biggest streak of games (five, all as a starter) at Colina since he became a professional. He had even played five consecutive matches with Marcelo Cabo, but in two he started on the bench.

Today’s Riquelme is trusted by Fernando Diniz and the fans. And more than that: it sees itself before a new chance to shine in the eyes of an audience that will very likely register Vasco’s biggest audience in the post-pandemic. The meeting is scheduled for Friday, at 9.30 pm, in the Historic Hill. Vasco’s victory shortens the distance to the G-4 in just three points.

About Abhishek Pratap

Food maven. Unapologetic travel fanatic. MCU's fan. Infuriatingly humble creator. Award-winning pop culture ninja.

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