Samba is back in Barcelona: President Joan Laporta hypes up Leeds United’s Raphinha ahead of debut

25-year-old Brazilian footballer Raphinha officially signed for Barcelona on Friday, 15 July. Presented at the ceremony where club president Joan Laporta was present, the former Leeds United player said that it was his dream to join Barcelona.

A left footed inverted winger, Raphinha is known for his ability of smooth dribbling as well as his tremendous vision on the pitch. Barcelona’s left flank has been a problem over the last couple of seasons, however, the revival of Ousmane Dembele late in the last season gave Barcelona hopes.

Raphinha joins the Xavi-coached team with a big reputation of making things happen. He was instrumental in Leeds not getting relegated to the second division in the previous season and has been highly rated ever since.Speaking at the presentation ceremony, Raphinha praised the club and the coach.

“I’m about to realise a big dream. I thank the president and everyone who worked for this. Visca Barça y Visca Catalunya.”

“I have many idols who have passed through here. Just being able to do half of what they achieved will be a lot. It’s a dream I’ve had since I was a child. I’ll do my best to help Barça be Barça again.”

“I feel very privileged to be here, excited. I am fulfilling a child’s dream and I hope to be able to give the fans a lot of joy.”

“I spoke with Xavi once and it was an immense honor for me. He was a great player and is building an incredible career as a coach. I hope he helps me to be like him, a great player at Barcelona.”

The club president, who took over from Joseph Maria Bartemou said that Brazilians have always had a great time in Barcelona and he feels happy that Joga Bonito has returned to the club.

“Joga Bonito will return to Barça. We have always had a Brazilian in Barça’s successful times. I’d like to thank Deco, who has worked really hard.”

The samba style of football, popularised by the likes of legendary Ronaldinho is a dying art in the era of speed and technicality.

It was reported that Xavi wanted Raphinha as his priority, and Barcelona did everything under their power to make it happen, despite being in deep financial troubles.

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