Raphinha maintains Leeds focus amid Brazil dream
Raphinha does not need to go anywhere to fulfill his international ambitions – he can do it all right here at Leeds United.
The 24-year-old has enjoyed an impressive start to life at Elland Road after joining from French side Rennes in October and he has five goals and five assists to his name already in the Premier League.
This form has led him to set his sights on an international call-up with next year’s 2022 World Cup sure to be in the back of his mind.
“My main focus at the moment is always the club and doing my best here, working really ahrd and giving everything,” he said.
“As a result of that work, the results will come.
“As a Brazilian player, and like any other Brazilian, I dream of representing them and putting on the shirt for my country.
“If the chance does come along, I would embrace that opportunity and make the most of it.”
In years gone by it has often been thought that to play for these elite-level international sides you need to by plying your trade at a club involved in European football, specifically the Champions League.
Think of the old Brazil side containing the talents of Ronaldinho and Kaka who were winning Europe’s most prestigious club competition with Barcelona and AC Milan, respectively.
But now times have changed and players can still achieve their dreams at less-heralded clubs or those not at the peak of their powers.
Raphinha only has to take a trip to Merseyside to see the man he could dethrone in the Brazil squad.
Richarlison is one of Everton’s key players and he has played an integral role in their move from mid-table meanderers to Champions League contenders this season.
After spending a season at Watford he joined the Toffees in July 2018 and received his first international call up a month later – he hasn’t looked back since, scoring eight times in 23 games to establish himself as a key figure in their set-up.
That should give Raph some confidence that he can remain where he is and achieve his dream.
We think he is twice the player of Richarlison and we are not far away from Everton already despite only recently returning to the top-flight.
Leeds have big dreams and so does Raphinha.
Together we are the perfect match.
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