Leeds winger Raphinha admits the club’s decision in advising him against travelling to Brazil to play for the national side “really upset” him – but he insists he completely accepts the reasons behind it.
The winger has been a shining light for the Whites since his bargain £17m arrival almost a year ago. During his time at Elland Road, he’s scored eight times in 36 appearances and also weighed in with nine assists. That equates to a goal involvement every other game.
And that kind of form has not gone unnoticed. Indeed. Raphinha’s form for Leeds has seen the likes of Manchester United and especially Liverpool credited with an interest.
Those displays have also earned a long-overue call-up by Brazil too, with Raphinha given the nod for the recent World Cup qualifiers.
However, due to quarantine rules – and with Brazil on one of the UK Government’s ‘red-list’ countries, Leeds advised Raphinha not to travel.
And while the choice was ultimately his, the winger has opened up on the massive disappointment he felt.
However, speaking to Globo, he also it clear he understood the club’s situation.
“It was a different and complicated situation because of the moment we are still living. I was upset, yes, because defending the national team is a child’s dream and who doesn’t think about it?” Raphinha said.
“It’s no different with me, but I need to make it clear that I understand the club’s position.
“I’m still very happy, extremely satisfied and focused here. I’m still doing my best to help Leeds and maybe get another chance to defend my country.”
Raphinha happy at Leeds
Those comments from Raphinha reflect claims from the winger earlier this year after he admitted feeling settled in West Yorkshire.
“First of all, I’m really happy to be here in Leeds being part of this institution and it’s a real pleasure,” he said.
“I’m really enjoying the city, despite not being able to see or discover that much of it.
“I’ve really been made welcome here. I’ve been embraced by all the players, the coaching staff, everybody here at the club, the fans as well.
“I’ll be a lot happier when we’re able to see all the fans in the stadium. So yes, I’m doing really well.”
Raphinha hailed the “affection” his colleagues have shown him, adding that they have made life in West Yorkshire “really comfortable”.