Raphinha helped Brazil beat Serbia in their World Cup opener on Thursday with a 2-0 win thanks to Richarlison’s brace – but Martin Keown made a strange claim about his time at Leeds United, during commentary on BBC Sport.
The 25-year-old left Leeds in the summer to join Barcelona after two wonderful years at Elland Road. Clocking up 67 appearances for us, Raphinha had a hand in 29 goals for the Whites. Scoring 17 times, he laid on 12 assists.
It also saw Raphinha become a Brazil international, winning his 12th cap on Thursday evening in Qatar. He joined Barcelona, aided by agent and Nou Camp icon Deco. He has struggled to recapture his best form since the move.
Indeed, that lack of form partly showed on Thursday. While Brazil did win and Richarlison was good, nabbing two goals, Raphinha was poor. Some awful first touches, running the ball out of play – and a tame shot in the first 45.
But during commentary, Arsenal and England legend Keown was discussing whether Brazil are as good as everyone is making out. He questioned Raphinha’s time at Leeds: “Was Raphinha really all that good at Leeds?”
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Keown makes strange claim about Raphinha and his time at Leeds
Bizarre. Keown only has to take a look at the stats. How Leeds signed Raphinha for just £17million and despite the inevitability he was going to leave in the summer, still helped Leeds survive. He did everything he could, for Leeds.
Fans loved him, and he loved the fans. His work rate and his his willingness to track back and defend, as well as score goals and create, made him a favourite of Marcelo Bielsa. Things might have ended sour, but he was stunning.
So, for Keown to suggest that Raphinha was not actually that good at Leeds, is a farce. Of course, question his form for Barcelona where he is yet to get properly going. But Raphinha was superb for Leeds, absolutely no doubt.