Xavi keen to play down Raphinha rift after substitution reaction

Raphinha continued his fantastic resurgence as a Barcelona player in 2023 in Thursday’s Europa League first leg against Manchester United.

The Brazilian scored one and assisted Marcos Alonso’s opener, taking his goal contributions this year to ten. He was later substituted after drawing Barcelona level, and he was far from pleased at having been withdrawn, repeating punching the back of one of the seats in the dugout.

Speaking after the match, Xavi Hernandez was quick to play down Raphinha’s anger, and stating that he can understand why he was irate. He revealed that the Brazilian has apologised for his outburst.

“I understand Raphinha’s anger, I was also angry. I made the changes thinking about the team and not to point fingers at anyone. Now Raphinha has apologised to me but he didn’t have to. I see it as a positive that everyone wants to play more.”

Raphinha himself also confirmed that he had apologised to Xavi, and felt that he had let down his teammates with his antics.

“I already spoke with the coach after the game, but I took the opportunity to apologise to everyone. To the coach again, to Ferran, who replaced me, to the team, to the fans.

“I know I made a mistake and I’m here to apologise to everyone and that this is not going to happen anymore. It was just the desire to win.”

Barcelona will be keen to not put too much emphasis on the incident, and Raphinha will hope to continue his good form against Cadiz in La Liga on Saturday.

Tags Barcelona Europa League Manchester United Raphinha Xavi
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