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Barcelona winger steps up as a leader for national team

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Photo by Rich Storry/Getty Images

While there are non-stop rumblings about his future, Barcelona winger Raphinha is currently away in the USA, playing for the Brazilian national team.

With the Copa America set to come up in the coming days, the Selecao have not been at their best since the FIFA World Cup elimination in 2022.

The absence of the likes of Thiago Silva, Neymar, and Casemiro means that Brazil are without some of their most experienced players and leadership figures in the squad.

Raphinha steps up

Given the lack of experienced players, Barcelona winger Raphinha has stepped up as a leader for Brazil, as was seen before the game against the USA this week.

The 27-year-old winger, who has time and again demonstrated the passion with which he lives the games on and off the pitch, took charge of the team talk ahead of the USA clash.

Taking on more responsibility. (Photo by GREGG NEWTON/AFP via Getty Images)

Speaking up in front of all his teammates, Raphinha attempted to motivate them to try to overcome the bad patch they are going through.

“This shirt is heavy. It’s bigger than anyone here. But the shirt alone won’t win you the game. If we don’t give everything on the pitch, if we don’t put dedication from the first to the last minute,” he said, as quoted by Mundo Deportivo.

“If one of us doesn’t run if we see that a team-mate is tired and needs help we won’t win the game. If one of us on the bench comes in and doesn’t give 100%, we won’t win the game.”

Raphinha is coming on the back of a solid season with Barcelona and will be aiming to carry forward that form on the international scene.

The 27-year-old will compete for a starting berth with the likes of Rodrygo Goes and Gabriel Martinelli as Brazil hope to win Copa America.

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