Barcelona and Leeds United have reached an agreement over the transfer of Brazilian forward Raphinha. His arrival is highly exciting for Spanish football. Born in Porto Alegre, the Brazilian is 25 years of age. He joined Leeds in the summer of 2020 when they were promoted to English football’s top tier and has emerged as one of the most dynamic footballers in the European game.
Raphinha made 67 appearances for Leeds, contributing 17 goals and 12 assists across all competitions. He was integral as they finished their first season in the top tier of English football since 2003/04 in a respectable ninth place and while they struggled collectively in 2021/22 his class has never been called into question. He was integral to their successful survival bid.
Raphinha has become a fully-fledged Brazilian international since he joined Leeds – he’s earned nine caps for his country and scored three goals – and was playing on another level to the rest of his teammates from the moment he arrived at Elland Road.
He’ll add a real dynamism to Xavi Hernandez’s frontline and he was presented as a Barcelona player on Friday. Joan Laporta, speaking at the ceremony, said that Samba is back in Barcelona. Raphinha, for his part, said that the great Ronaldinho inspired him to start watching Barcelona when he was a small child in Brazil.
“I started watching Barcelona when Ronaldinho came here,” he said at the ceremony. “Everything that he achieved here definitely influenced my decision to come. I always wanted to come here.”
🗣️ Raphinha: ❝I started watching Barça when Ronaldinho came here. Everything that he achieved here definitely influenced my decision to come. I always wanted to come here.❞ 💙❤️ pic.twitter.com/DJhiSl3oF7
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) July 15, 2022