Raph Gets Brazil Call-Up

Last updated : 17 August 2021 By Kevin Markey

Raphinha has been handed a first ever call-up into the Brazil national squad for September's three World Cup qualifiers against Chile, Argentina and Peru.

Leeds signed Raphinha for £17m from Rennes last summer and the 24-year-old played an important role as the Whites finished in a respectable ninth-placed finish upon their first season back in the Premier League.

The winger scored six goals with nine assists - and Brazil coach Tite and his team have been watching him closely..

'We've been following Raphinha for a long time, since Leeds were promoted to the top tier,' the coach said. 

'He has a real talent for dribbling. He scores important goals, decisive goals and we analyse that kind of thing a lot. He brings us pace and skill.'

But Leeds might not be able to count on the player when they return to Premier League action following the international break due to the congested South American qualifying campaign. 

Brazil are away to Chile on September 2 and Argentina on September 5 and then face Peru at home on September 9, after FIFA approved an application from the South American confederation, CONMEBOL, to squeeze in an extra game after previous matches were postponed due to the pandemic.

If Raphinha remains in the squad for the final fixture against Peru he is unlikely to be able to play for Leeds at home to Liverpool on September 12, as the time difference means he would be unlikely to return to England until September 11.

Brazil, the five times world champions, top the South American qualifying group with six wins from six games.