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Raphinha reveals Neymar role in Barcelona transfer

Raphinha at Barcelona
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The Catalans signed Raphinha during their busy transfer window this summer.

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Former Barcelona star Neymar had advised Raphinha to join Barcelona before his move from Leeds United.

Since his arrival, Raphinha has scored once and provided an assist in his four appearances for the Catalans.

The Brazil international has revealed Neymar’s influence on his decision to join Barcelona amid interest from Chelsea.

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“I spoke a lot to Neymar. He told me that if I came to Barcelona then I would not regret it,” Raphinha told La Vanguardia. “And he was right.”

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Asked why he chose Barca over Chelsea, the 25-year-old responded: “My dream was to wear the Barcelona shirt. This is a club that I have followed since I was very young.

“Since Ronaldinho arrived, I began to understand a little more about the history of the club. I wanted to be a part of this.

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“So that dream, those desires were stronger than any other proposal no matter how powerful it was financially.”

Having smashed Viktoria Plzen 5-1 in their Champions League opener, Barcelona will face Bayern this Tuesday. 

Raphinha believes Xavi’s side have enough quality to push for the European title this season.

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“Apart from the talent that the team has, I think the most important thing [for winning the Champions League] is to have a winning mentality,” he said. “And we have it.

“[If Barca win the Champions League] I will do the same thing I did with Leeds when we managed to secure safety: I will cross Camp Nou on my knees or on the field where we play. It could very well be Istanbul [this season].”