Barcelona summer signing Raphinha has opened up on life at the Camp Nou and has admitted he has found it difficult to adjust to life with the Catalan giants following his big-money move from Leeds United.
Raphinha moved in a deal thought to be worth over €60 million including add-ons but has only managed one goal in 17 appearances for Xavi’s side and has dropped to the bench in recent games.
The Brazil international has told Cadena SER he has found it difficult to adapt but that he’s working hard to try to settle into life with the Catalan giants as quickly as possible.
“For me, on an individual level, it’s been difficult: I’m a striker and I like to score. I’ve scored one official goal all season and that hurts a bit,” he said. “I’m adapting, my colleagues are helping me. I’m working to make this adaptation as fast as possible.”
Barcelona are said to be worried about Raphinha’s performances, particularly as the forward has been outstanding on the training ground but unable to reproduce that form in competitive matches.
Raphinha also faces intense competition for a place in the starting XI. Xavi also has Robert Lewandowski, Ousmane Dembele, Ansu Fati, and Ferran Torres all available currently.
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Raphinha Talks Trophies
Despite his early difficulties at Barcelona, Raphinha is still optimistic this season can be a success and he can end the campaign with some silverware. Barca are currently top of the table, ahead of Real Madrid’s game against Rayo Vallecano, but have dropped into the Europa League after failing to make it out of their Champions League group.
Raphinha believes Xavi’s side can win titles even though they continue to go through a period of transition with youngsters coming into the team and older players, such as Gerard Pique who is set to retire, stepping down.
“There are changes from years ago to here; it’s normal. The teams have to make changes, but I see that at Barça the way of playing is maintained,” he added. “Barça is going to win titles this year. We enter all competitions to win. All the ones we compete in, we are fighting for the title.”
‘Difficult Not To Cry’ – Raphinha On Pique
Raphinha also opened up about Pique’s departure. The club legend played his final game at the Camp Nou during Saturday’s 2-0 win over Almeria and was given an emotional send-off by the crowd.
Pique’s retirement has come as something of a shock, with the announcement being made mid-way through the season, and Raphinha says the players did not know before the defender released a video on social media.
“We found out at the same time as everyone else. It’s his decision. He thought of giving this news without preparing anyone,” he explained.
Raphinha also revealed what it was like at the Camp Nou as Pique waved goodbye after 14 years playing for the Catalans, winning 30 trophies along the way.
“It was a night of emotions, an important and special match,” he said. “We have the farewell of a great reference, a friend. It is difficult not to cry, it is shocking. A farewell is always emotional.”
Barcelona are back in action on Tuesday, November 8 against Osasuna in La Liga. The game is the team’s final match before the World Cup break.
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