BBC pundit Martin Keown makes live World Cup gaffe over Brazil star Raphinha at Leeds United
Martin Keown dropped a clanger live on the BBC when he questioned former Leeds United star Raphinha’s career in West Yorkshire.
The now-Barcelona winger started for Brazil as they faced Serbia in their opening World Cup game in Qatar on Thursday night (24 November), eventually winning 2-0 with a pair of goals from Tottenham forward Richarlison.
But as the opening half drew to a close with the score goalless Keown suggested the 25-year-old Raphinha, who eventually moved to the Camp Nou for £55million this summer after a drawn out saga, hadn’t actually been that good in a Whites shirt.
While live on the BBC Sport commentary of the game in first-half injury time he said (24 November, 7.46pm): “We’ve been saying really nice things haven’t we about Brazil? But you look at this team and you think Raphinha who was at Leeds, was he really outstanding there?
“You’ve got Richarlison who’s only scored a couple of goals for Spurs. I don’t know, [Lucas] Paqueta, is he really setting the world alight for West Ham?
“Suddenly they put a Brazilian shirt on and we think they’re going to win the World Cup.”
Keown must have a pretty short memory, as it was only six months ago that Raphinha last appeared for Leeds United, where he was the almost undisputed star of a nightmare season.
He may be having a more difficult time in La Liga, where they are apparently “baffled” by his start to life [AS, 1 November], but even there he has a couple of goals and four assists so far.
Despite the unconventional approach to money they have taken at the Camp Nou in recent years, it is unlikely that they would have eventually stumped up such a fee to sign the attacker if he hadn’t been a standout at Elland Road.
Across 67 appearances he scored 17 times and assisted 12 more in his time at Leeds United over two seasons, but even that doesn’t tell the full story.
Last season saw an unprecedented injury crisis strike the the club, and major upheaval in the form of Marcelo Bielsa’s sacking and replacement by Jesse Marsch.
The Whites only stayed in the Premier League on the final day of the season, and while the summer transfer saga may have soured the relationship with many of the fans, few would dispute that in very difficult circumstances Raphinha was vital to the club’s survival.
Keown would surely have been aware of that, yet apparently overlooked it, before Richarlison also made his comments look foolish by proving to be the match-winner.
In other Leeds United news, one Whites star has raved about the quality of a Chelsea man amid links with an Elland Road move.