Raphinha’s pending challenge in the Champions League

09/18/2023 at 10:12


Last season the Brazilian was left without scoring in the top European competition

Against Betis he scored a great goal two minutes after entering the field

with goodbye of Ousmane Dembélé, Raphinha was promised happiness this season. Nobody doubted that, from the beginning, he would be in charge of occupying the right wing of the Barça attack due to the merits he had achieved. So it was. In the league premiere he started against Getafe but in that match he was sent off with a straight red card and received a two-game suspension.

Enough for Lamine Yamal to appear to blow up all the Brazilian’s hopes of becoming the heir of the Frenchman who escaped to PSG on Barça’s right wing. And on top of that he has also found a Ferran Torres in a state of grace willing to fight and not give up to have more opportunities.

But Raphinha is not one to throw in the towel. He showed it in the game against Betis, scoring a great goal with a great long shot when he had barely been on the field for two minutes. Substitute against Osasuna and the Andalusians, he hopes to enjoy the starting position in the European debut against Royal Antwerp.

But in addition, with the Champions League, he has a pending challenge. Last season he could not score a goal in this competition (he did in the Europa League against Manchester United) despite the fact that he participated in five of the six group stage matches. Of course, he gave two goal assists although in an inconsequential match against Viktoria Plzen.

Last season’s scorers

If the Barcelona team did not pass the first phase is due, in part, to the poor scoring ability he showed in important matches. He stayed scoreless in both matches against Bayern Munich and against Inter in Milan.

The responsibility of scoring, of course, was not basically Raphinha’s but the reality is that the few goals were concentrated in two players (Lewandowski and Ferran Torres) and in the less demanding games.

Barça started the league by beating Viktoria Plzen with goals from Kessie, a hat trick from Lewandowski and another from Ferran Torres. He did not score again until the three-goal draw against Inter, who would end up being a Champions League finalist, at the Spotify Camp Nou. That day the scorers were Lewandoski, who scored a double, and Dembélé.

Xavi’s team also beat Viktoria Plzen at home, with goals from Marcos Alonso, a double from Ferran Torres and another from Pablo Torre. Curiously, half of the season’s scorers in the top continental competition are no longer at the club.