Leeds United star Raphinha held a press conference at Brazil’s training camp on Tuesday evening.
The winger is once again having the chance to make his debut for the national team, as the last time he was called up, he and other Premier League players were stopped from travelling for the matches.
Raphinha has now talked about his disappointment from the last international break, explaining he’s excited at having this new opportunity.
“It was very complicated, I got very frustrated,” said Raphinha (via Globo Esporte).
“Of course I hoped to come until the last moment. I kept in touch with Juninho, the staff as well, talking to the club staff to see if somehow this could be resolved, but unfortunately it wasn’t.
“What I could do was keep my head on straight, keep working, because I knew that in a few weeks I was going to have another call. So I could only stay focused, have a good head to keep working to have another opportunity.”
The Leeds player confirmed that he’s had contact from the Italian national team, and despite thinking about it, he could never miss the chance to play for Brazil.
“I was contacted, talked to Jorginho too, but it’s very complicated to change the national team when you don’t live there. It’s not even that you don’t feel at ease. But you are not part of it. The Brazilian national team has always been my goal, since I was little. Even with double citizenship, my desire has always been to represent the national team. Even with contact, with conversations I had.”
Raphinha was also quizzed about his work with Leeds United boss Marcelo Bielsa. As many teammates have done so before him, the player talked about how demanding the manager is during training and games.
“He’s a very demanding coach, on and off the pitch. I believe that because of my way of being, which is very demanding with myself, I ended up joining up two good things for the club. Bielsa always charges the most, taking the most. If the player can understand that it’s the best way to evolve individually and collectively, every player has a great chance to evolve.”
Brazil are playing Venezuela, Colombia and Uruguay during the current international break. As we explained on Tuesday, there’s a big chance Raphinha could miss Leeds United’s match against Southampton as he may not return to England in time to prepare for the game.