Leeds United winger Raphinha is featured today in a very good story from Brazilian outlet UOL, called ‘From Restinga to the Premier League’.
The article is written by former midfielder Tinga, who’s won multiple major titles for Brazilian clubs, and retired 2015.
Tinga is a nickname which comes from Restinga. That’s a poor neighbourhood in the city of Porto Alegre where both he and Raphinha grew up.
The former player talks about how glad he is that another kid from his area is managing to succeed in football, this time in ‘one of the most traditional clubs in the Premier League’.
Tinga tells that both he and Raphinha were rejected by Porto Alegre’s biggest clubs, Grêmio and Internacional, for being too short and thin, and only succeeded in their careers due to their own effort and insistence.
He also points out with discontent the fact that from the €18.5m paid by Leeds United to sign the player, not a penny goes to his first club, Monte Castelo. These are the small neighbourhood sides who really identify young talents and take them to training. Still, FIFA only recognize the bigger clubs who take the kids to professional level.
Tinga managed to get a statement from Raphinha where the Leeds United star talks about how proud he is to have come from Restinga.
“When I look back and see everything that I have been through and listened to get here, I see how much it was worth listening to that much of people’s bullsh*t, which only motivated me to want to go further and show that I could, that I would be able to… Nowadays, look at us there, performing not only my dream, but also the dream of my family, my friends, who are the ones who have always been with me from the beginning and know what I went through.”
“From Restinga, I carry everything. It was where I had my first shots, where I played my first championships, where I scored my first goals. I always take the name of Restinga wherever I go, because it’s where I was born and raised, I have my friends, my family… I’m very proud to say that I am a child of Restinga.”
“I want to tell the boys to never give up on their dreams, regardless of the situation, because the only person who can make their dream come true, they are themselves, no one else. They will say that you’re poor, that you are not good for that, that you must follow another path and that you should even give up. But it has to make you stronger to go after and make your dreams come true. So, never give up on your dreams, and run after what is yours.”