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 a move to Camp Nou since before the transfer window opened, but higher bids from Premier League clubs, including Chelsea, stalled a switch, particularly with Barcelona’s financial struggles.
Barca have played host to some of the greatest names in Brazilian football over the years, 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.
“I saw Ronaldinho come here and achieve so much and after that Neymar as well,” he told Barca TV.
“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 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. All I can do now is give my best and try to help Barca be what it’s always been.”
Raphinha knows pic.twitter.com/SFna87xdkC
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) July 13, 2022
Originally arriving at Leeds from Rennes following the former’s promotion to the Premier League, Raphinha became a standout performer for Marcelo Bielsa, and then Jesse 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.”