Deco has told Brazilian outlet UOL that new Leeds United winger Raphinha is a “warrior”, and that Brazil’s national team do not have a player like the former Sporting Lisbon and Stade Rennais star.
Raphinha, 23, has made a good start to life at Leeds following his deadline-day £17million move from Rennes. Although he has only come on as a substitute on two occasions with less than 10 minutes to go, Raphinha has certainly left an impression.
A glorious pass to Jack Harrison has been played over and over again on social media, during his cameo role in the 3-0 win over Aston Villa. He also took to the field for the Under-23 side against Norwich last Sunday, scoring in a 2-0 win.
Former Chelsea and Barcelona superstar Deco was spotted at Elland Road after acting as Raphinha’s agent and has since posted on Instagram about Raphinha. Now, Deco has made a Brazil claim about the exciting wide man.
“Raphinha is a warrior boy, with a difficult history, he still has a long career ahead of him”, Deco told UOL. “He’s winning everything with great desire, with much dedication. This is all very new to him.
“In Brazil, they don’t understand who Raphinha is, despite showing his ability in Europe. It isn’t easy to transfer almost four times in a two-year interval. His rise is very fast. In Brazilian football, I don’t think there is another left-footer with his traits.”
TBR’s view – What does Raphinha need to break into Brazil side?
Aged just 19, Raphinha took the European plunge and left Avai to join Portuguese side Guimaraes. It has seen his club career prosper, having a hand in 35 goals during 84 games for the latter – while playing 41 times for Sporting.
But that early move – as Deco says – may have hindered his Brazil hopes, as they now know little about him. He failed to even earn a youth cap, but if he is to show Brazil he deseves a spot in the side, then he needs to break into the first team.
That will be harder than perhaps initially thought. Jack Harrison is in the form of his life, while Helder Costa continues to improve. Raphinha needs to start for Leeds, before even contemplating Brazil.
Speaking to LeedsUnited.News, Nigel Martyn has exclusively claimed that he would back any move the Whites made to sign Norwich City’s Todd Cantwell in the summer – and compared Ben White to Robin Koch.