Barcelona played hosts to Real Betis for gameweek 32 tonight in a game that helped them retain top spot in La Liga, with their 11-point lead. The Catalans were sharp and fast, and could have easily had two-three more goals on another day.
One of the difference-makers tonight, once again, was Raphinha, who assisted Andreas Christensen’s opening goal, and then got the third one on the board as well, going around the goalkeeper.
The Brazilian spoke to the media post-game, saying, “I’m always trying my best to improve and help the team.”
“We knew we had to react after the game against Rayo.”
Official: Raphinha was named MOTM. Congratulations! pic.twitter.com/6cJxJPXc2y— Barça Universal (@BarcaUniversal) April 29, 2023
He continued on the same beat of the drum, speaking with motivation: “We know what we needed. It’s this desire and determination. If we want to win the league, we have to continue at this level.”
One of the 16 Barcelona players to play tonight was 15-year-old Lamine Yamal. On track to sign a long-term extension with the Catalans, Yamal became the youngest La Liga debutant this century.
He came on in the 83rd minute, and almost scored with one of his first touches of the ball. He then created a brilliant chance for Ousmane Dembele inside the box with a chipped pass, but the Frenchman could not quite get the timing right.
Raphinha was asked about the teenager, and what he was doing when he was Yamal’s age.
“We were telling him that on the bench. When I was 15, I was playing for my local neighborhood club. He entered this stadium with these fans, and it was unbelievable. He almost scored, too,” Raphinha said.
“Everyone will help Lamine, he will be very important for the club.”