An agreement has been reached in principle between FC Barcelona and Leeds United Football Club to sign Brazilian winger Raphinha.
Local media said that Barcelona would pay about 60 million euros ($60 million) plus add-ons for Raphinha’s transfer. However, financial specifics were not immediately published.
Raphinha was born in Porto Alegre, Brazil where he grew up in Restinga, a favela far from the city core. His father was a jobbing musician. He recalls a rough childhood, including sleeping in the same room as his parents, younger brother, and pets, as well as having to rely on charity to help pay for travel and food.
After fruitless trials with Internacional and Grêmio, Raphinha started his career playing youth football with Imbituba, where he was later scouted by Avaí. Raphinha began his professional soccer career in 2014 at the age of 18 with the Ava under-20 team in the Campeonato Brasileiro Série A. After being injured, he was unable to make the squad but continued to practice on his own. Despite increased interest in Raphinha from many of Brazil’s best teams, Avaí retained hold of him until 2016, where he impressed at the Copa São Paulo de Futebol Júnior.
On 2 February 2016, Raphinha signed for Portuguese side Vitória Guimarães, having been scouted at the Copa São Paulo de Futebol Júnior by Deco, who signed him to his agency, D20 Sports, and organized his transfer to Vitória. He made his debut for the Vimaranenses on 13 March 2016 against Paços de Ferreira. He scored his first goal for the club against C.S. Marítimo on the 20 August 2016. He made his debut appearance in the 2017–18 UEFA Europa League on 14 September 2017 against Red Bull Salzburg. He earned the Vitória Guimarães Breakthrough Player of the Year in 2017. During the 2017–18 Primeira Liga season, he scored 18 goals in 43 games (across all competitions) for Vitória Guimares.
In May 2018, he transferred to Portuguese club Sporting CP till 2019. On August 12th, he made his professional debut in a match against Moreirense. Against FK Qarabag in the 2018–19 UEFA Europa League, he scored his first goal for the club on September 20, 2018. Raphinha was a part of the side that won the 2018–19 Taça de Portugal scoring a penalty in the penalty shootout triumph against Porto.
He joined for French club Rennes in 2019, with a transfer fee about €21 million, the club’s highest signing. He scored and collected an assist in his farewell appearance for the club during the 2020–21 Ligue 1 encounter against Reims in a 2–2 draw on 4 October 2020. During his stint with Rennes, he scored eight goals and provided seven assists, helping the club finish third in Ligue 1 and qualify for the 2020–21 UEFA Champions League.
On 5 October 2020, he joined Leeds United on a four-year contract for an unknown amount thought to be in the region of £17 million, or about €20 million. On 19 October 2020, he made his debut as a second-half replacement in a 1–0 loss to Wolverhampton Wanderers. On November 22, 2020, he made his full collegiate debut against Arsenal at home. On 28 November 2020, Raphinha scored his first Leeds goal in a 1–0 away win over Everton. His winning goal won Leeds’ first ever Premier League win at Goodison Park and their first league win at Everton since 1990. He scored six goals in league play to round up his campaign.