Raphinha praised after impressive performance for Brazil
Leeds United winger Raphinha has been lined-up for praise by Brazilian international veteran and Chelsea center-back Thiago Silva after the Selecão fought to a frustrating 0-0 draw against Colombia.
The draw in Barranquilla ended Brazil’s 100% record in CONMEBOL’s World Cup qualifying section, but Raphinha dazzled in his impressive half-hour substitute appearance after coming on for forward Gabriel Barbosa.
“If we had managed to win, we would be talking more about them [Raphinha & Antony].
The boys showed a quality that I have hardly seen in more than ten years with the Brazilian national team [of newcomers]. It’s really cool to see Raphinha and Antony showing personality. In terms of rapport, it’s a little lacking, but the individual is at a high level.
Thiago Silva: “Antony & Raphinha contain qualities that I haven’t seen coming along in my 10+ years at the Brazilian National Team when it comes to new players arriving. When you look at them on a pure individual level, the level is very high.” pic.twitter.com/QMm95fkLnJ
— 𝐀𝐅𝐂 𝐀𝐉𝐀𝐗 💎 (@TheEuropeanLad) October 13, 2021
Such was the nature of his display that Raphinha received the highest match rating from Brazilian outlet Globo Esporte after immediately becoming the most creative outlet for Tite’s unit.
Growing stature could influence club future
There are some that have begun to suggest that Raphinha’s growing stature amongst the Brazilian footballing community could lead to the player pushing for a move to greener pastures.
Former Aston Villa striker Gabriel Agbonlahor – now a pundit – spoke to Football Insider and made the claim that the Brazilian spark plug could separate from Elland Road unless Leeds continue to invest in the first-team;
“I think it’s going to be very hard. Leeds need more investment in their squad, they need to start buying players that can keep them fighting even further up the table. Over the next year, year and a half, people like Raphinha will leave, his head will get turned by other clubs.
Raphinha is getting into Brazil squads, he’s playing for Brazil now. He’s not going to want to play for Leeds, he’s going to want to move and play for a bigger club that’s playing in the Champions League. Someone of Raphinha’s quality should be playing in the Champions League.”
Whether or not Raphinha will have his head turned by other clubs remains to be seen, but it is certainly hard to see his long-term future built around Leeds unless the club can match his rapid progression.