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Bernard: 'Fearless' Richarlison will keep getting better for Everton and Brazil

15:50 GMT+3 20/06/2020
Richarlison Everton 2019-20
The 23-year-old is enjoying a productive season at Goodison Park and will be hoping to back up his fighting talk against Liverpool on Sunday

Bernard has backed his Everton team-mate and Brazilian compatriot Richarlison to keep improving as the Toffees return from the coronavirus break.

Richarlison has talked his way into the headlines this week after calling out Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk ahead of Sunday’s Merseyside derby.

With 10 Premier League goals in 27 appearances this season, the forward is three shy of his best effort to date, having registered five and 13 league goals in his previous campaigns.

“Richi is capable of adapting to any scenario during a match,” Bernard told EvertonTV.

“He's the type of player who's really aggressive in the box. He's fearless and not scared of putting himself about or taking a whack.

“Whatever is happening, the important thing for him is putting the ball in the back of the net.This makes him who he is, a player with a massive presence in the box.”

Richarlison turned 23 while football was suspended, and Bernard thinks he is going to keep getting better.

“He is still developing. When you look at him, he's still so young to be doing what he is in the Premier League.

“I am certain he will mature and become an even better player, not just in the way he plays but also in the way he understands and reads the game.”

As well as helping Everton climb the table under Carlo Ancelotti, both Bernard and Richarlison are hoping to make an impression on the international stage.

Richarlison has six goals in 19 games for Brazil while Bernard is hoping to add to his 14 caps, the last of which came six years ago.

“My objective for Everton's restart is to come back well and give my all, so we can get the wins and share joyful moments together,” Bernard added.

“I think to play for the national team in any country you have to be doing well for your club, so for me to think about the Brazilian Selecao, I have to think about Everton.

“It is good we can play at Goodison [rather than a neutral venue] but I'd be even more pleased if we were able to have our fans there.

“It’s a delicate situation coming back after the pandemic and two months out and going into a difficult fixture. But the game being a derby is an additional motivator for me and, I believe, all the players.

“We need to look after ourselves, be dedicated and as prepared as possible for a tough, intense game. It will also be a happy occasion because of this opportunity to play again at Goodison Park.”