Leeds striker and probable Brazilian national team titleholder, Raphinha has never played professionally in Brazil
Highlight of Brazilian Team in the last two qualifiers of the world Cup, Raphinha will be the big news in the starting lineup that will face the Uruguay at the Arena da Amazônia, in Manaus, this Thursday, at 9:30 pm (from Brasília).
The striker, who left the bench in the second half in the duels against Venezuela and Colombia, has never played professionally in Brazil. Currently at United Leeds, from England, he had a very unusual trajectory until he caught Tite’s attention.
Raphinha’s games by Premier League have live broadcast on ESPN on Star+.
Born in a humble neighborhood in Porto Alegre, the forward inherited his father’s passion for football, who is a Colorado fan and played in the floodplain with Tinga (ex-midfielder of International and Guild).
Raphinha started in a social project and went through the schools of Internacional and Grêmio, being dismissed for being too frail. Then, he defended Porto Alegre FC, a club managed by Roberto Assis Moreira, brother of Ronaldinho Gaúcho. The former Barcelona star, by the way, is Raphinha’s great idol.
After the end of Porto Alegre, he went through floodplain teams until reaching Audax-SP. A year later, however, the club was sold and the player passed by Imbituba, who played in the second division of Santa Catarina, before being hired by Avaí.
“He was an extremely competitive athlete, explosive and maybe exaggerated. The opposite of what he was off the field. A boy with little speech. On the field, he wanted to win everything he disputed. Training, position, minutes on the field. He always wanted to be ahead. There was no space to negotiate a calmer move. Off the field he was a calm, serene boy. He talked very little with his teammates. Anyone who saw him off the field would not say that he was so agitated on the field,” said Diogo Fernandes , who captured the player for the Florianópolis team.
At Avaí, the left-hander stood out in the 2015 RS Cup and the 2016 São Paulo Junior Soccer Cup. A few weeks later, he was bought, at the age of 19, by Vitória de Guimarães even before debuting as a professional.
After a season and a half at the Portuguese club, the Brazilian was sold to Sporting, from Portugal. He spent only a year and two months on the Lisbon team before being sold to Rennes, from France.
Managed by former player Deco (Idol of Porto and Barcelona), Raphinha helped the French team to a spot in the Champions League group stage of the 2020-21 season, but in October last year he was signed by Leeds, from England.
In the team commanded by Marcelo Bielsa, the striker quickly became a starter and one of the main players in the Premier League. In two seasons, there are 38 games (nine goals and nine assists).
“Since he arrived in the Premier League he has had very good performance and highlights. There were talks that he could go to Liverpool, I even expected that to happen (laughs), but in the end he stayed at Leeds. He is the best player in Leeds today. Whenever we play against them, we know that he is the player who can cause the most danger,” said Fabinho, teammate.
“The characteristic he has is very unique, of a left-handed player who goes up and can go both ways, in and out. This is very important for the national team. He’s a guy who has a lot of personality, goes for top, and has already proven that it can help us a lot,” he said.