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Raphinha makes Marcelo Bielsa claim

Raphinha has told UOL Esporte that he finds it funny how crazy Leeds United fans are about Marcelo Bielsa, as he opened up on how the Whites boss helped him settle follow his switch to Elland Road.

Like many of his teammates, Raphinha has been a revelation during his first year in the Premier League.

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Remarkably, he cost Leeds just £17 million, according to BBC Sport. And he has gone on to make former club Rennes look utterly foolish by scoring six and setting up nine in the top flight.

The 24-year-old is already a hugely popular figure amongst Whites fans. But it seems that he still has some way to go to be as loved as his boss.

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And in an interview back in his home country, Raphinha shared just how fanatical the city is about Bielsa.

“It’s funny how crazy the city is for Bielsa. These days I was going to the stadium. When I stopped at the traffic light, I had a drawing of Bielsa painted on the entire wall of a building,” he told UOL Esporte.

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“The guys are really crazy about the club! Too bad I couldn’t feel that heat up close. The pandemic meant that we could not even have contact with the fans.

“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. And he said that whenever I wanted I could knock on his door.”

Raphinha comments on Bielsa will not surprise Leeds fans

It is truly incredible to think how much Bielsa has transformed Leeds in a relatively short space of time.

When he took over, the Whites were a mid-table side in the Championship. And yet, many of those same players are now shining at the highest level.

The side that finished the dramatic 3-1 win away at Leicester City earlier this season for example, was made up entirely of players who had been at the club in the Championship.

Of course, Bielsa is not the only person responsible for the club’s amazing progress.

The likes of Andrea Radrizzani, Victor Orta and many of the players deserve huge credit.

But without Bielsa, it is difficult to imagine Leeds being anywhere near a top-half finish in the Premier League.

The Argentinian is the man who has given the fans belief once again.

And that progress has allowed them to sign players such as Raphinha, Rodrigo, Diego Llorente and Robin Koch, and seemingly put themselves on the cusp of something incredibly special.

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