Raphinha credits ex-Leeds United head coach Marcelo Bielsa for influence in securing Barcelona transfer

Former Leeds United winger Raphinha has thanked the Whites’ previous manager for his role in developing him whilst at Elland Road

Wednesday, 27th July 2022, 9:25 am

Raphinha lit up the Premier League during his two-season spell at Leeds United.

The Brazilian scored 17 goals for the Whites before sealing a £55 million transfer to Barcelona earlier this month, fulfilling a childhood ambition to one day represent the Catalan club.

Speaking to Spanish outlet Mundo Deportivo, the Brazil international has thanked former United boss Marcelo Bielsa, claiming he would have not signed for Barcelona without the Argentine.

"He helped me to get to the national team,” he said. “And he helped me to arrive at Barcelona. If it wasn't for his teachings, in a group or individually, I probably wouldn't be here."

Raphinha has hit the ground running at Barcelona, scoring the game’s only goal as Los Cules defeated arch-rivals Real Madrid in a pre-season friendly which took place in Las Vegas.

The 25-year-old has claimed he turned down more lucrative offers elsewhere to represent the Blaugrana, too.

"He seeks maximum performance in training and in games, he was an important person for me and for my career,” Raphinha added, describing his former mentor Bielsa.

Raphinha believes he wouldn't be a Barcelona player if not for Marcelo Bielsa's teachings (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

"I will always carry him with me.”