Leeds forward and likely starter of the Brazilian team, Raphinha has never played professionally in Brazil
Featured in the Brazil’s selection in the last two games of the World Cup Qualifying, Raphinha it will be the big news in the starting eleven that will face Uruguay at the Arena da Amazonia, in Manaus.
The forward, who left the bench in the second half during the duels against Venezuela and Colombia, has never played professionally in Brazil. Currently at Leeds United in England, he had a very unusual trajectory until he caught the attention of Tite.
Born in a humble neighborhood of Porto Alegre, the forward inherited his passion for football from his father, who is a fan of International and he played in the alluvial plain with Tinga (ex-midfielder for Internacional and Gremio).
Raphinha began in a social project and went through the schools of International and Guild, being fired for being too fragile. Then he defended the Porto Alegre FC, club run by Roberto Assis Moreira, Ronaldinho Gaúcho’s brother. The former Barcelona star, by the way, is Raphinha’s great idol.
After the finale in Porto Alegre, it went through floodplain teams until it reached Audax-SP. A year later, however, the club was sold and the player passed through Imbituba, who played in the second division of Santa Catarina, before being hired by Avaí.
“He was a tremendously competitive footballer, explosive and perhaps exaggerated. Quite the opposite of what he was off the field. A boy who spoke little. On the field he wanted to win everything he disputed. Training, positions, minutes on the field. He always wanted to be ahead. There was no space to negotiate a calmer play. Off the field he was a calm and collected boy. He spoke very little with his teammates. Whoever saw him off the field would not say that he was so intense on the field “, said Diogo Fernandes, who captured the player for the Florianópolis team.
On Avaí, the left-hander stood out in the RS Cup 2015 and the Sao Paulo Junior Soccer Cup 2016. A few weeks later, he was bought, at the age of 19, by Vitória de Guimarães even before making his professional debut.
After a season and a half at the Portuguese club, the Brazilian was sold to Sporting From Portugal. He spent only one year and two months in the Lisbon team before being sold to Rennes, from France.
Led by former player Deco (idol of Porto and Barcelona), Raphinha helped the French team to get into the Group Stage of the Champions League of the 2020-21 season, but in October last year he was signed by Leeds of England .
In the team led by Marcelo Bielsa, the forward quickly became a starter and one of the main players in the Premier League. In two seasons, he has 38 games (nine goals and nine assists).
“Since he came to the Premier League he has performed very well and has excelled. There were talks that he could go to Liverpool, he even hoped that would happen (laughs), but in the end he stayed in Leeds. He is the best player in Leeds today. Whenever we play against them, we know that he is the player who can cause more danger “, said Fabinho, teammate.
“The characteristic he has is very unique, of a left-handed player who goes up and can go both ways, goes in and out. This is very important for the national team. He is a boy who has a lot of personality, goes up, and has already proven that it can help us a lot “, said.