Brazilian Professional Footballer - Raphinha
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Leeds United Football Club Forward – Raphinha

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Raphinha is one of Leeds’s brightest and most talented attacking footballers currently playing in the Premier League. Marcelo Bielsa manages Raphinha with Leeds United FC. Although his jersey says Raphinha, his real name is Raphael Dias Belloli. Raphael was born in 1996 in Porto Alegre, Brazil, and shares a common ancestry with Italian relatives. Raphael played with Avai, Vitoria Guimaraes, Sporting CP, Rennes and is currently with Leeds. Standing at 5’9, Raphinha plays as a winger and attacking forward using his pace, skill, passing, and scoring abilities consistently. After an impressive debut season with Leeds, several other Premier League clubs have noticed the winger’s consistent performance and may offer the player soon. Overall, Raphinha has played over 200 professional senior-level games and scored 50 goals. The player averages 0.25 goals a game or a plan every four games. While it may not look like he has a worthy goal to games ratio, the numbers also include games from when he was still developing as a player. If current trends indicate the future, Raphinha should improve his goal-scoring rate and improve his goals to games ratio throughout the rest of his career (the next 6-10 years or so).

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Raphinha: 2014-2017

Raphael signed with Avai in Brazil in 2014 and stayed with the club for the next two seasons as a youth player developing until 17. In 2016, Portugal club Vitoria Guimaraes announced they signed Raphael, following which he made his debut and scored his first goal for the club the same year. In 2017, Raphael played in the Europa League and managed to achieve 18 goals that season. As a result, the club awarded him the Vitoria Guimaraes breakthrough player of the year (2017).

Raphinha: 2018-2020

In 2018, Sporting CP announced the signing of Raphinha on a 4+ year contract, following which he made his debut and scored for the club the same season. The player managed to win the Taca da Liga, Taca de Portugal, and participated in the Europa League for the 2018 season. While the player was signed to Sporting for a little over four years, he was sold to Rennes in 2019. Sporting received over 20 million Euros for sale, which was also a transfer record for Rennes. With Renne, Raphael managed to score eight goals and contribute with seven assists. Renne managed to qualify for the Champions League for the following season (2020) by finishing third place in Ligue 1 in 2018-2019.

Raphinha With Leeds United

Leeds announced the signing of Raphael in their first season back to the Premier League after a long 16 year hiatus in the lower leagues. Raphael became a Leeds United player as the club managed to sign the player before the close of the transfer window for a transfer fee of 20 million Euros. The club needed a fast winger to operate on the right side and signed Raphinha for that very purpose. Club managed to sign him until 2024, with a minimum of 4 years, unless options are exercised at contract expiration.

At Leeds United, Raphinha took the number 18 and played his first Premier League game against Wolves. Raphael came on as a sub in the second half of the game but failed to turn over a 1-0 deficit from the last half. In November, the player managed to play a full 90 minutes from the start in a match against rivals from London, Arsenal. Later that month, Raphael scored in an away game victory over Everton, a ground Leeds hasn’t won at for more than the last two decades. Raphina has scored six goals in 25 games in his first season in the Premier League with a new club in his current season.

Leeds United has slowly transitioned Raphinha into a starting 11 player with occasional substitute appearances with positive Raphinha player reviews. Raphinha’s attacking style of play matches Bielsa’s expectations and aggressive gameplay. The next three seasons will be necessary for the player’s development as he steps into his prime years and vies for a spot on the Brazil national team. The player is currently injured after a win over League leaders Manchester City and is due to return to finish the season.

Seth Schey
the authorSeth Schey

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