Ronaldinho retains a special place in the hearts of most football fans, but in Barcelona in particular, the Brazilian is appreciated. It is one of the things that perhaps took Raphinha to the club, having watched one of his idols triumph in the Blaugrana.
In terms of style of play, the two are not altogether similar, but speaking to Catalunya Radio, Raphinha says he is more Ronaldinho than Rivaldo. MD covered his words.
“Off the pitch I don’t know much about Rivaldo, but I know that Ronaldinho on and off was always the same, always smiling. Off the pitch I am a bit more like Ronaldinho and on the pitch a bit more like Rivaldo, more focused, more serious.”
This could be misinterpreted too – Ronaldinho off the pitch had something of a reputation as the life of the party, but Raphinha has only ever come across as the height of professionalism.
Moving on to current affairs at Barcelona, Raphinha did not shirk the criticism of Barcelona in recent weeks either, which has had little of the joy of Ronaldinho, nor the brilliance of Rivaldo.
“These two games might have gone badly but we got the win and it’s the most important thing for everyone, even if you play badly but getting the win, which is what can give us La Liga, but we are playing badly in the last few games.”
“We have to improve but playing matches every three days weighs a bit and this free week was important to recover and rest, in training I saw that we needed rest to come back better.”
There appears to be a strong attitude within the squad that while playing ‘good’ football, that is attractive to the fans, is important, winning comes first. Although Xavi Hernandez claims Barcelona did not intend on playing as they did at the Santiago Bernabeu last week, many will have taken heart from the strength of character they showed.