Robert Lewandowski has opened up on his Barcelona teammates and admits he’s been impressed by Raphinha, who also made the move to the Camp Nou in the summer transfer window.
The Poland international told ESPN what he thought when he first saw the Brazilian in action, as reported by Mundo Deportivo. “When I first saw Raphinha in training, I said: ‘This guy has something special!'”
Raphinha has become an important part of the squad after a tricky start to life in La Liga following his big-money move from Leeds United. The forward has openly admitted he’s found it difficult to adapt at Barcelona and that he’s been “missing something” from his game.
However, the Brazilian has stepped things up in 2023, particularly since coming in for the injured Ousmane Dembele, as shown by CBS Sports.
Raphinha now has 8 goals and 9 assists in all competitions for the Catalans and has helped Xavi’s side moved nine points clear at the top of La Liga ahead of the team’s next match against Real Madrid at the Camp Nou.
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Raphinha To Continue After Dembele Setback
There’s no doubt that Raphinha’s impressive form means he deserves a place in the starting XI at present, but he’s also likely to continue with Dembele still thought to be some way off a return.
The Frenchman was due to be back in action after the next international break but has suffered a setback in his recovery, as reported by Mundo Deportivo. Dembele has been out since January but may not return for another two or three weeks.
The good news for Barcelona and Dembele is that La Liga is due to pause for an international break after the next round of games. Barcelona return to action on Saturday April 1, against struggling Elche.
It’s not clear if Dembele will be fit in time to face Elche, but Barca will be keen to have him available for the second leg of their Copa del Rey semi-final against Real Madrid which takes place four days later.
Raphinha Targets Double Figures
Raphinha may be in good form but the Brazilian has insisted he still wants more this season. The Brazilian told Catalunya Radio that he’s hoping to get into double figures when it comes to goals and assists.
“I’m never satisfied. At the beginning of the season I put the numbers I want to reach on a piece of paper,” he said. “When I arrive at a new team, I set myself the goal of scoring 10 goals and providing 10 assists. And if I get there I increase 5 goals and 5 more assists. Now I’m getting close, but with 8 goals and 9 assists I’m still not satisfied. I like to do more and more and more.”
Barcelona would surely love it if Raphinha could hit those targets next time out against Madrid. A win for the Catalans at the Camp Nou would stretch their lead over Los Blancos to 12 points with just 12 games left to play.
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