Richarlison has revealed that his groin injury was giving him so much discomfort that he could not kick the ball without pain, and he admitted that he found it hard to deal with the criticism that was coming his way.
The decision proved to be a masterstroke as the forward netted a brace, which was more than his entire Premier League goal tally from last season.
Speaking to ESPN Brasil after Tottenham’s 4-1 win over Newcastle, the 26-year-old admitted that the groin issue had been plaguing him from last season, adding that he perhaps should not have put off his surgery as long as he did.
Richarlison couldn’t even take part in shooting drills
The Spurs star has now stated that the problem was so severe that he did not even take part in shooting drills while warming up ahead of matches.
The former Everton man revealed that he was affected by the criticism he was getting and had to take a break from social media.
Richarlison told The Daily Mail: “I’m very happy to be back playing. I recovered very quickly and this has been an extra motivation for me. Since last year, I had been suffering from these pains and felt a lot especially when it was time to finish.
“So much so that I didn’t even practice kicking in the warm-up before the games, because it always got worse and I couldn’t do the simplest movements afterwards without feeling discomfort.
“Out of my desire to help both the club and the national team, I ended up postponing this surgery for many months, until I realized that I was actually harming myself and the teams, as I was not in a good physical condition to continue.’
“I am hungry. I always want to play, but I learned this lesson the hard way. If your health and mental health are not up to date, there is no point.
“A lot of people criticised me, said bad things about me, because I really wasn’t performing at my best, and since my head wasn’t feeling good anymore due to the lack of confidence and off-field matters, which wasn’t great either, everything went down a very bad path.
“So much so that I took a break from social media and I’ve been saying very little, because I want to recover and I am focused on that.”
The forward remarked that he is now feeling a lot more confident in his body and is hoping to help the team over the coming weeks.
He added: “Thank God, I am feeling much better and without that pain. Very happy for the goals I scored, but also for being able to help the team more effectively.
‘I had the energy to recover, I stole the ball from the first goal in midfield and arrived in one piece to finish later, things that hadn’t been happening and that makes me very confident.
“Now we have to think about evolving with each game, having a good sequence and things will return to their place.”
Spurs Web Opinion
It sounds like Richy made a big mistake by putting off the surgery as long as he did. I am surprised the Tottenham medical department did not insist that he get the problem fixed sooner.