Raphinha has given a long-winded interview to Brazilian outlet UOL Esporte after his first Premier League season came to an end – and he recalled meeting Leeds United manager Marcelo Bielsa for the first time, following his £17million move from French side Rennes.
Raphinha, 24, has enjoyed a brilliant first season in English football. Having a hand in 15 goals during his first Premier League campaign, the ex-Sporting Lisbon star scored six goals and created nine more – attracting mass interest in his signature from the Premier League’s biggest sides.
But he has continuously stated that he is happy at Elland Road, and now, Raphinha has shown his admiration for his manager at Leeds. The Brazilian winger recalled his first meeting with the Argentine legend, following his deadline-day move to Leeds – which was orchestrated by agent Deco.
Speaking to UOL Esporte, he said: “When I arrived in Leeds, Bielsa came to welcome me. He said he was willing to help me evolve, to speed up my adaptation to the club, so that I could show my best football. Whenever I wanted I could knock on his door.”
If any of us Leeds fans needed any more proof that Bielsa is a heartwarming, caring, legendary manager then, this is it. But it is just another example of him endearing himself to his players – and fans. Just last week, he allowed Diego Llorente, Robin Koch and Mateusz Klich to leave on holiday with two games to play – due to featuring at Euro 2020.