Brazil announced their World Cup squad for Qatar on Monday afternoon and Raphinha has been included in their 26-man squad – prompting reaction from Leeds stars Rodrigo and Luke Ayling, as well as Kalvin Phillips on Instagram.
Raphinha, 25, earned his place in the Brazil side during his second seasons at Leeds. That is, after having 29 goal involvements in 67 appearances for Leeds during his two-year spell at Elland Road, following his move from Rennes.
Since his move to Barcelona, he has struggled. Reports claim that Barcelona are actually baffled that the winger is struggling to show his best on the pitch – when he is performing so well in training. Nevertheless, he will go to Qatar.
He is a part of a magnificent attacking arsenal Tite has at his disposal. An attack including Neymar, Vinicius Jr, Gabriel Martinelli, Gabriel Jesus, Lucas Paqueta, Antony and Richarlison. Raphinha posted his delight on Instagram on Monday.
Leeds stars react as Raphinha included in Brazil squad
Raphinha has Leeds, and Marcelo Bielsa to thank. Victor Orta brought him to the club and sold him to Barcelona for a big profit, tripling our cash. But a lot of that is down to Bielsa giving him the platform to shine in an attacking side.
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It brought the best out of him. Scoring all types of goals, and proving just as creative as he was a goal threat. He earned fan favourite status during his time at Elland Road, not only for his goals. His work rate was hugely admired.
Did his exit taint his Leeds spell? Perhaps, slightly. But he is now off to a World Cup and Raphinha will have Leeds to thank for that. Ayling sent a really touching message, urging Raphinha to show what he is capable of in Qatar.
Phillips and Rodrigo also commented on the player’s Instagram, after it was confirmed he will be on the plane. Brazil’s first fixture is on November 24 against Serbia, with the World Cup starting on November 20 – Qatar against Ecuador.