'I'm living a dream' - Leeds United's Raphinha left emotional after scoring twice on full Brazil debut

Leeds United's Raphinha said he was "living a dream" with Brazil after scoring twice for the Seleção on his full debut.

Friday, 15th October 2021, 10:36 am

The 24-year-old was handed his first start for his country by Tite in the early hours of Friday morning against Uruguay in World Cup qualifying.

Raphinha had been introduced twice from the bench by his head coach against Venezuela and Colombia amid the international triple-header.

He recorded two assists and helped turn the game on its head against Venezuela in a come-from-behind 3-1 win while Brazil were held to a 0-0 draw by Colombia.

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The Whites wide man was finally given a chance from the beginning and starred for his nation, scoring a goal in either half of a 4-1 victory to make it four goal involvements in just three outings.

Neymar and Gabriel Barbosa also got on the scoresheet for the Seleção at the Arena da Amazônia while Luiz Suárez bagged a consolation for Uruguay as Brazil made it 10 wins out of 11 games in their bid to reach Qatar.

“There's no way to explain the happiness I'm feeling today," Raphinha reflected post-match.

"This match could not have been more memorable for me, with the goals and the victory. I'm making a child's dream come true, not only to be wearing this national team shirt, but also to be able to represent a whole nation, a country, and being able to help with a goal is very gratifying.

“Now, this night will be difficult to pass, it will be difficult to forget. For me, the night never had to end, but I'll come back focused on what made me get here, which is the good work at Leeds, for those who know how to be here again. Other nights will come, God willing."

Raphinha now faces a race against time to be available for Leeds at Southampton in the Premier League on Saturday afternoon.

United kick-off at St Mary's around 36 hours after the conclusion of Brazil's game against Uruguay and Marcelo Bielsa said the winger's condition would be evaluated before seeing if he could be involved on the south coast.

"It's a night I never wanted to end, for me it would last forever," Raphinha continued.

Leeds United's Raphinha is embraced by Neymar after scoring for Brazil. (Photo by NELSON ALMEIDA/AFP via Getty Images)

"It will be a night that will be very marked. By the public, by the city, by the environment, by the match. It will be very marked for me and I will hardly forget.

"I'm living a dream, it's the moment I always looked for when I was little, to reach the national team, to play with great players. Guys I've always followed, I've cheered for. I tried to be with them here.

"It's a dream I'm fulfilling. Not only mine, my childhood friends, a whole community and a city."