Brazil boss Tite publicly thanks Marcelo Bielsa and Leeds United for new Seleção star Raphinha

Brazil head coach Tite has publicly thanked Leeds United boss Marcelo Bielsa for his work with winger Raphinha.

Friday, 15th October 2021, 12:17 pm

The Whites wide man made more headlines in the early hours of Friday morning on his first ever start for the Seleção, scoring twice in a 4-1 World Cup qualifying win over Uruguay.

Raphinha earned an initial call-up to his national team squad in September but was forced to wait until the October international break amid Covid restrictions in England.

He made an instant impact against Venezuela on debut last week, bagging two assists from the bench in a 3-1 victory before being introduced from the sidelines again in a 0-0 draw with Colombia on Sunday.

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The 24-year-old, though, was handed an opportunity from the start for Brazil in the final game of the international triple-header and didn't disappoint - scoring in either half against Uruguay alongside Neymar and Gabriel Barbosa while Luiz Suárez bagged a consolation goal.

"I publicly thank Bielsa for accompanying and working with Raphinha and all the coaching staff that brought him closer to the national team," Brazil boss Tite said of Raphinha's impressive impact for his country.

"I spoke personally with Bielsa and I thank him for that support with him."

English football has been dazzled by Raphinha's impressive skill and quick adaptation under Whites head coach Bielsa since swapping Stade Rennes for Elland Road, scoring six goals and notching nine assists in 30 appearances during his debut term.

His form has carried into the new campaign in West Yorkshire and led to his first chance for Brazil, which he has duly taken with open arms to force talk of the country having a new superstar.

Brazil moved onto 31 points after securing a 10th win out of 11 group games as they close in on a place at the Qatar World Cup next year.

Tite's men will face fourth-placed Colombia and second-placed Argentina next month in more qualifying action and Raphinha could have already made himself a regular for his nation.

His manager, though, is keen not to pile too much pressure too soon on his new right winger after a stunning start to life at international level.

Leeds United winger salutes the crowd after scoring for Brazil against Uruguay. (Photo by Buda Mendes/Getty Images)

"We continue calmly. It's a process. We have the observation of a great performance," the Brazil head coach continued.

"But after a while, we're left thinking it's the peak of the mountain [for Raphinha].

"It's going to fluctuate, because it's normal, because he's a kid, because a whole atmosphere was generated. He played a great game, but we have to have common sense and serenity at the time of evaluations.

“You have to play a lot at your club. The competition increases, the batten [of pressure] increases, the level increases and all of the athletes compete to be in the national team."

Brazil legend Rivaldo also revealed he had been impressed by what he has seen from the Leeds winger.

"He is earning the right to fight for a place in the 2022 World Cup squad," he said.

"But he must keep on as, until the World Cup, others will have the same opportunities, so the Leeds man must keep his good form going at the club and prove his value every time he is with Brazil.

"That's his way to get to the World Cup next year."