Man United considering a swap deal for Raphinha

Raphinha contemplates early retirement amidst intense pressure at Barcelona

Barcelona and Brazil star Raphinha, who recently capped off a successful season by hitting double figures in goals for the second consecutive year, revealed he nearly walked away from football due to mounting personal and professional pressures.

The 27-year-old, now back in the Brazil squad ahead of the Copa America, shared his struggles in a candid interview.

Raphinha’s journey at Barcelona has been anything but smooth. After his high-profile €58 million transfer from Leeds United, where he turned down Chelsea’s advances, the talented winger faced numerous challenges settling into his new team.

Manager Xavi Hernandez often favored Ousmane Dembele in Raphinha’s preferred position, and this season, he found himself shifted to the left to make room for young sensation Lamine Yamal. Despite his on-field contributions, he faced a barrage of criticism.

“Recently, I thought about leaving it all due to personal and professional problems,” Raphinha admitted.

“I thought about giving up, leaving football, because I didn’t need to go through some mental problems or difficulties and attacks by the media or fans.”

The pressure cooker environment at Barcelona seems to be taking a toll not just on Raphinha but also on others within the club.

Departing manager Xavi Hernandez has described the Barcelona job as cruel and unpleasant, highlighting the intense scrutiny from fans and media alike.

For Raphinha, the thought of his son viewing him as a role model in football, even if not the best in the world, kept him going.

“Imagining that one day my son can see me as an inspiration in football, not being the best in the world, but as a reference, that is worth a lot,” he shared.

This personal revelation underscores the often unseen emotional and psychological challenges players face, reminding fans and pundits alike of the human side of football.

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