Raphinha names Marcelo Bielsa as the man who changed his career
Raphinha made his Barcelona debut against Inter Miami on Tuesday after joining from Leeds United.
's former manager,
, was the person who changed his life. After a lot of back-and-forth withLeeds United
, the 25-year-five-year old's contract was finally finalized last Friday.
Raphinha's sudden rise to fame is capped by the transfer. He only played forSporting CP
and Rennes for one season each before moving to Leeds in 2020. Under Marcelo Bielsa, the winger thinks he played his best football to date, which helped him reach a "bigger" football goal than he had thought possible.
, "He was very important to me." "He got me out of
, gave me confidence, and helped me get on the Brazil team. The way he made me play brought out the best in me.
"My real goal was to play professionally in Brazil and show my skills to the fans there. I didn't get it, but I was able to stay in Europe, which was another chance. I was getting closer to my dreams when I got here, played in the Champions League, and played with Brazil. Today, I'm making a bigger dream come true."
The player from Porto Alegre was one of the few bright spots for Leeds as they stayed in the Premier League last season. Jesse Marsch took over for Bielsa in February.
Raphinha has helped score 29 goals in 65 Premier League games and scored on his debut against Inter Miami on Tuesday. He also said he hopes to follow in the footsteps of other Brazilians who have worn the Barcelona shirt and won the World Cup with the Selecao.
"When the team does well, and each player does well, I want to win the league, the Champions League, and everything else," he said. "As a person, I want to win the World Cup with Brazil, and I will stay at Barca for a long time. It was a dream to play soccer like Ronaldinho, Neymar, Dani Alves, Romario, Ronaldo, and Rivaldo, Brazil's heroes.
"Following in their footsteps is such a huge honor that I can't even put it into words. I always talk about Ronaldinho because he was always playing and doing amazing things when I first started to understand football, which was when he moved to Barcelona."
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