Barcelona star Raphinha vindicated after Ousmane Dembele injury

There was definitely concern in Can Barca after Ousmane Dembele went down injured against Girona at the weekend, but their first game without him went relatively well. After picking up a crucial win against Real Betis, they had Dembele’s replacement, Raphinha, to thank for the opening goal.

The Brazilian has had a disappointing start to his Barcelona career, arriving for €58m from Leeds United. He quickly lost his starting spot, as it became clear that Dembele was performing better than him.

As the January market rolled around, already there were rumours that Barcelona might try to move him on either in the winter or the market. They also reportedly warned him about his performance.

Raphinha got the crucial breakthrough for Barcelona against Betis though, converting Alejandro Balde’s excellent ball across the box. Manager Xavi Hernandez likened him to Robert Lewandowski in his post-match press duties with Sport.

“He presses, he runs and he makes the difference, like Lewandowski, who has scored again, and he always works for the team.”

While perhaps it is fair to say his performances have so far been under par, he is coming up with a habit of producing in big moments. His work led to Dembele’s opener at Camp Nou against Inter in the Champions League, and it was his header against Osasuna that sent Barcelona into the World Cup top of the table. The good news for Xavi is that this will give him confidence, with a run of games on the right side ahead of him for the first time.

Tags Barcelona Raphinha Real Betis


  1. He might scored the opener but his overall performance was poor as was Lewandowski to be fair.

    Busquets was immense. De jong had his moments as did Gavi and Pedri.

    Not sure Kounde was doing for the own goal as it wasn’t as if the ball was fizzed at him, he could have done anything but that.

    Fati and Torres are in very bad shape at the moment, just awful and greatly lacking in confidence.

    1. Haha, agreed. The person that wrote this article obviously didn’t watch the match. Raphina was awful, and it sure seemed based on when Ansu started getting ready that Xavi felt the same way up until the goal.. Yeah, he praised him in the press conference, but I find it hard to believe that Xavi was happy with his overall performance.

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