Barcelona star Raphinha names Premier League club he ‘likes’

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Barcelona winger Raphinha has dropped a huge transfer hint after revealing that Arsenal are a team he “likes.” The Brazil international moved to the Nou Camp last summer following a two-year spell with Premier League giants Leeds.

Raphinha has starred for Barcelona since putting pen-to-paper on a five-year deal in Spain and bagged a goal and an assist on Thursday night as his team drew 2-2 with Manchester United in the first leg of their Europa League play-off. His performance at the Nou Camp may have had United chiefs wishing they had thrashed out a deal with arch-rivals Leeds to prise the 26-year-old away from Elland Road last year.

But Raphinha has now explained that the Gunners are the English team that lies closest to his heart. During a recent interview, the star was asked about teams he likes away from Spain. “My favourite teams outside of Spain? Arsenal and PSG,” he replied.

Raphinha racked up 17 goals and 12 assists in 67 games for Leeds after joining the Yorkshire side from Rennes in 2020. He was handed his Brazil debut during his time in England but opted to quit the Whites after Barca came in for him despite intense interest from Arsenal and Chelsea. 


The player has gone on to bag seven goals and nine assists in 31 games for his current employers and appeared in all five of Brazil’s World Cup matches last year as they reached the quarter-finals before succumbing to Croatia. However, there were rumours in January that he could be on the chopping block already with the likes of Manchester United linked, though Xavi moved to quell the reports.

Raphinha has already won his first trophy with Barcelona after helping the side get the better of Real Madrid in the Spanish Super Cup final in January. His side will also be among the favourites to win the Europa League if they can overcome the Red Devils after a 2-2 draw in the first leg of their tie. And with Barca heading into the weekend with an eight-point advantage over Real Madrid at the top of the La Liga table, the player could be set for a trophy-laden campaign.

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“It’s a dream come true since I was a kid, and of my family as well,” Raphinha said after joining Barca. “I’m going to give my best.”

And in a separate interview, the talented attacker added: “Ronaldinho is one of my idols and he wore the Barcelona shirt. I couldn’t talk to him before coming here, but I’m sure he would tell me to follow my dream. I had a lot of offers after my time at Leeds, but I knew exactly what I wanted. My childhood idols played for Barcelona, so I had a dream to come here and I spared no effort to achieve it.”

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