BREAKING:: Ex-Leeds United winger Raphinha opens up on why he snubbed Chelsea for Barcelona
Ex-Leeds United winger Raphinha has revealed that his decision to snub Chelsea this summer in favour of Barcelona was based on his desire to emulate childhood hero Ronaldinho.
The Brazilian international was the subject of interest from several clubs during the summer window after an impressive two seasons at Elland Road.
Chelsea made an attempt to sign him but he turned down a move to the Whites Premier League rivals to fulfil his dream of playing for Barcelona.
“Rejecting an offer from Chelsea? Yes, because my dream was to wear the Barca shirt,” he told La Vanguardia.
“I followed them since I was young, since Ronaldinho arrived. I wanted to be a part of it. The desire was stronger than any other proposal, no matter how powerful it was financially.
“I knew that I might have some difficulties to come and to be registered. But I was also aware of the effort the club was making. So I decided to trust and adapt to the economic conditions that existed.”
Raphinha joined the La Liga club for a deal estimated to be worth £49m. He has made four league appearances since moving to Spain, scoring once and providing one assist.
Upon leaving Leeds, who he joined from Rennes in October of 2020, he penned an emotional farewell to the club after making 65 appearances and scoring 17 goals.
BARCELONA, SPAIN – SEPTEMBER 07: Raphinha of FC Barcelona warms up prior to the UEFA Champions League group C match between FC Barcelona and Viktoria Plzen at
He wrote on social media: “Life is made up of meetings and goodbyes, and the amazing times I lived in Leeds will always be in my memory.
“I will never forget the club that hugged me, the club I was representing when I first went to the Brazilian national team. I want to thank you for all the love, trust, support and all the joys I enjoyed at Leeds United.
Leeds United's failure to sign the senior striker they targeted all summer has put extra weight on Joe Gelhardt's shoulders during the rest of 2022, but the 20-year-old is relishing, not fearing it.#lufc @sturayner reportshttps://t.co/JoejFpG9i9
— Yorkshire Post Sport (@YPSport) September 10, 2022
“Without a doubt, it was an incredible experience in my career. Everywhere I’ve been, I’ve always rooted for a team, which I identify with and Leeds would be no different.
“For sure, in England it’s the club I’ll always be following and cheering as a fan because it is the club that allowed me to live one of my biggest dreams which was to play in the Premier League.
“Undoubtedly, it is the team that will be in my heart for all my life. I want here to leave my special thanks to the board, medical department, technical team and to the other departments and to this wonderful crowd who always supported.
“In general, I would like to thank everyone who directly or indirectly helped me to get to where I am today as well as the players and the technical committees I worked for. Thank you very much..TAP.TO.CONTINUE.READING
“None of this would have been possible without your welcome and affection. I will carry each one in my heart forever. Today I am fulfilling a childhood dream. Thank you very much, I will never forget you.”