Due to trailing to Venezuela 1-0 at half-time last night, Brazil were heavily criticised for their performance, especially for the lack of creativity in attack.
That’s why manager Tite chose Raphinha to replace Everton Ribeiro. The Leeds United star, who was making his international debut, managed to change the game and lead his side to a 3-1 comeback.
The 24-year-old couldn’t hide his happiness after such a good display, and spoke to the local media after the match.
“Tite asked me to do what I’ve been doing at Leeds, which brought me to the Seleção, I believe I didn’t disappoint him, my teammates, or the Brazilian fans,” said Raphinha (via Globo Esporte).
“I believe an assist is worth the same thing as a goal. As a wing player, of course I like goals, but when I manage to assist a teammate I’m very happy, it’s as if I had scored a goal. I’m happy for the match, for what I was able to show on the pitch and for the victory, which keeps our unbeaten record, it’s very important.”
When analysing player by player, Globo Esporte gave Raphinha a rating of 8.5, the best in the game. This is what they write about his debut:
‘Raphinha: came on at the beginning of the second half and was the best of the Brazilian team, commanding the comeback in Caracas. He attacked their defence, took the set-pieces and participated in the three goals. In the first one, put a corner kick on Marquinhos’ head. In the second, he created the play that resulted in the penalty. In the third, he assisted Antony. What a business card!’
Brazil now have nine wins in nine games in the World Cup qualifiers. They now play Colombia on Sunday and Uruguay on Thursday, and with so much praise from the media, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Raphinha getting a chance to start in one of those games.
The bad news for Leeds is that the player probably won’t be back in England in time to play in the match against Southampton.