Raphinha reveals he turned down Chelsea after Brazilian team-mate Neymar told him he will have ‘no regrets’ about his move to Barcelona… as the ex Leeds forward admitted he made the ‘dream’ move to the Well Camp couldn’t turn down
- Raphinha, 25, reveals he spoke to Neymar before coming to Barcelona this summer
- The troublesome winger joined Barca for £56million after he turned down a transfer from Chelsea
- The ex-Leeds man’s father was a friend of Ronaldinho, who idolized Raphinha
Barcelona’s summer signing Raphinha is candid about the reason behind his move to the Catalan giants.
The Brazilian forward was not short of options after another strong season at Leeds, but revealed that a conversation with his compatriot Neymar led him to choose Barca over Premier League giant Chelsea.
Raphinha was one of Chelsea’s main transfer targets in a summer in which they racked up a league record of over £270 million, but the former Leeds winger instead moved to the Nou Camp in a £56 million switch.
Raphinha (right) spoke to Brazilian team-mate Neymar before deciding to go to Barcelona
The 25-year-old explained how Neymar’s words helped him make the decision, but also suggested the move was a foregone conclusion due to his own love for the club.
Raphinha has a goal and an assist since his £56m move
Raphinha explained: “I spoke to Neymar about a transfer and he told me that if I go to Barcelona I won’t regret it and he was right.
“I turned down Chelsea because my dream was to wear the Barcelona shirt.”
And he also admitted that he was shocked by the positive reception he received from the Blaugrana fans, saying: ‘What surprised me in the club? Without a doubt the warm welcome from the fans, the coaching staff and the players, everyone is good and wants to help the new players.”
Although Raphinha only joined Barca this summer, he has quite a long-standing relationship with the club through a surprising relative.
When Raphinha was a child, his father, Rafael, was reportedly part of a band called Samba Tri in Brazil’s Porto Alegre, the birthplace of one of the football-mad country’s biggest exports – Ronaldinho, who befriended Rafael.
The 25-year-old revealed he turned down Chelsea because it was his dream to play for Nou Camp
As a result of the couple’s friendship, Raphinha reportedly began accompanying his father to barbecues at Ronaldinho’s house in Porto Alegre during the off-season, forming a strong bond with his father’s boyfriend, who naturally became a role model.
So while Chelsea fans will no doubt feel hurt about the punch, it’s perhaps more understandable why a young Brazilian would choose the club represented by not one, but two of his country’s best players ever.
And it looks like the player is a good fit for Xavi’s Barcelona, as he has scored and assisted once each in his four appearances with the club so far.
Barcelona legend Ronaldinho was idolized by Raphinha growing up in Brazil
Ronaldinho was a friend of Raphinha (left) and his family, especially his father (bottom center)