Oh boy, we’ve been waiting for this! This morning Tottenham Hotspur posted video on social media of Argentinian central defender Cuti Romero greeting his new teammate and international arch-rival, Brazilian forward Richarlison. This was a pretty hotly anticipated greeting by Tottenham fans for reasons we’ll get into here in a bit.
But first, the greeting. It was... a little awkward.
There’s a lot to unpack here. First, let’s address the obvious: there are plenty of reasons to suspect that Cuti and Richy really don’t like each other that much. Richarlison is an attacker for Brazil, and Romero a defender for Argentina, two South American national powers that famously don’t get along. So already there’s a lot of history there, and Romero is frequently tasked with stopping Richarlison from scoring. That’s led to a number of... well, let’s just call it “incidents” between the two. Richarlison has also (quite fairly) gotten a bit of a reputation for diving or going down easy under challenges, and that’s the kind of thing that tends to irk opposing defenders.
Then there was the infamous incident last season during Tottenham’s 5-0 home win over Everton. Romero put in a... well, let’s call it an “orange card ” tackle on Richarlison, which you can see in the header image of this article. Cuti was incredibly lucky not to be sent off for that tackle, and afterwards he cheekily posted an image on Instagram of Richarlison lying on the ground while Cuti received a yellow card.
It was pretty great. Gotta think that rankled Richarlison a bit.
So that’s all background to this meeting, and you can absolutely see the awkwardness in this initial greeting and hug. They’re both practically gritting their teeth. Two arch-rivals suddenly on the same team, forced to make nice. It’s the stuff of classic 1980s high school movies. John Hughes couldn’t have written it better.
The significance of the meeting wasn’t lost on their Spurs teammates, either — from the reaction to this greeting, they were anticipating this half-hearted hug every bit as much as all of us were. Check out Eric Dier’s Instagram story response to this meeting. Footballers — they’re just like us!
| Eric Dier on Instagram reacting to the Richarlison / Romero hug pic.twitter.com/GFQmnMAxaJ— The Spurs Express (@TheSpursExpress) July 9, 2022
That said, there’s potential here! There’s already a real Riggs-Murtaugh “Lethal Weapon” vibe at play here where Richy and Cuti have to put aside their differences and come together to defeat a common enemy. Who doesn’t love that? And if you cock your eyes and squint you can maybe see the seeds of a burgeoning, if begrudging, friendship at play. Why, this might end up being the best Tottenham bromance since Eric Dier and Dele.