Brazil international Raphinha hopes to follow fellow Selecao stars Ronaldinho and Neymar in enshrining his name into Barcelona history after agreeing his long-awaited transfer this week.
The Blaugrana confirmed an agreement had finally been struck with Leeds United for the winger, pending a medical, to complete one of the window’s more protracted sagas in a deal reportedly worth up to €67million (£56.57m).
Raphinha had preferred moving to Camp Nou before the transfer window opened. Still, higher bids from Premier League clubs, including Chelsea, stalled a switch, particularly with Barcelona’s financial struggles.
Barca had played host to some of the greatest names in Brazilian football, including World Cup winner Ronaldinho, and Neymar, who became the most expensive player in history when he left for Paris Saint-Germain.
Both stars left an indelible mark upon the fabric of the club.
And now, Raphinha is determined to follow in their footsteps.
He told Barca TV:
“I saw Ronaldinho come here and achieve so much, and after that, Neymar.
“For me as a Brazilian to come here, it’s an honour. I hope to reach the same objectives that those two players achieved.
“This is a dream come true for me, not just for me but also my friends and family.
“They’ve seen me playing since I was a kid. They knew this was a dream of mine to come here.
“Now, I can give my best and try to help Barca be what it’s always been.”
Originally arriving at Leeds from Rennes following the former’s promotion to the Premier League.
Raphinha became a standout performer for Bielsa and Marsch over his two seasons at Elland Road.
With 17 goals in 67 appearances for Leeds, the Brazilian says fans can expect him to showcase that drive at Camp Nou too.
“What I can say about myself is that I’m very excited to win,” he added. “I like to win; any time I lose it’s very difficult to accept.
“So, you can expect a player who will always be fighting, always try to win, in training sessions as well. I will fight to become a better player.”
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