Raphinha opens up about his tough upbringing in Brazil and how he lost friends to drug trafficking

‘I’d ask people to buy me something to eat’: Barcelona star Raphinha opens up about his tough upbringing in Brazil… as he reveals he LOST many friends to the ‘world of crime’ and the ‘drug trade’ long before he became a forward of 56 million pounds

  • Brazilian star Raphinha has opened up about her childhood at home in Brazil
  • He revealed how he begged for food on the street but hailed the role of his family
  • Raphinha also said that many of his friends became involved in crime and drug trafficking
  • The winger joined ‘dream club’ Barcelona from Leeds for £56m this summer
  • Click here for all the latest WC 2022 news and updates

Barcelona star Raphinha has opened up about his tough childhood, revealing how he used to beg people for money on the street to eat, while several of his friends became involved in crime and drug trafficking.

The 25-year-old, who hails from Porto Alegre in Brazil, moved to Barcelona this summer for £56 million.

He was previously a fan favorite at Leeds and several clubs courted the Brazilian before he moved to the Nou Camp.

Raphinha has also won nine caps for Brazil, scoring three times, and is expected to be part of their squad for the World Cup this winter.

Barcelona star Raphinha has opened up about his tough childhood at home in Brazil

However, the Brazil international has opened up about his upbringing and revealed the obstacles he had to overcome to reach the very top of the game.

“I have to tell you a truth: it’s very complicated,” he told UOL Esporte via Marca. “For someone who was born in a neighborhood like me, it’s hard to stay focused.

“I’m from Restinga (a neighborhood in Porto Alegre). It is difficult to follow your path and not go astray. The possibilities appear, and there are many.

“They promise an easier way to make money. And that’s where people get lost. I never got off the road, but I was a witness, I walked with people who were lost.

“I lost many friends in the world of crime, in drug trafficking… Friends who played ten times better than me and who could have been in a big football club in the world.”

Raphinha (L) said he lost many of his friends who became involved in crime and drug trafficking

Raphinha (L) said he lost many of his friends who became involved in crime and drug trafficking

Raphinha explained how he was able to avoid these distractions to achieve his dream of becoming a footballer.

He said: “Having these examples nearby was an important factor in keeping my focus. I knew what I wanted from a very young age: to be a footballer.

“Achieving this goal by leaving a neighborhood is a huge sacrifice. But my ambitions were even greater. I did not deviate. If today they talk about my “magic” in football, I say… this is the real magic.

“It was thanks to my family that I never dropped out of school and ignored the opportunities I had to take the wrong path. It is because of them that I am here.’

The winger is a Brazilian international and has impressed so far for Barcelona since signing

Raphinha rejected interest from several clubs before joining the Catalan giants this summer

The winger is a Brazilian international and has impressed so far for Barcelona since signing

Raphinha also revealed some of the struggles he faced as a child, including just having enough food to eat.

The Barcelona winger explained: “It would be unfair to say that I have been hungry in my life because my parents never lacked food at home.

“Still, after training, I would stand on the street and ask people to buy me something to eat or a snack. Some people helped me, others called me a tramp.

“And there was nothing to do, it was to wait for the bus to come home so I could eat something. I was between 12 and 14 at the time.

Raphinha was a favorite at Leeds and helped them survive relegation last season

Raphinha was a favorite at Leeds and helped them survive relegation last season

This summer, Raphinha was of interest to several clubs, including Chelsea and Arsenal, but he remained steadfast in his desire to join Barcelona, ​​despite the Catalan giants’ well-publicised financial problems.

And the Brazilian has explained why he was so desperate to join the club.

He said: “Ronaldinho is one of my idols and he was wearing the Barcelona shirt. I couldn’t talk to him before I got here, but I’m sure he would tell me to follow my dream

“I had a lot of offers after my time at Leeds, but I knew exactly what I wanted. My childhood idols played for Barcelona, ​​so I had a dream to come here and I spared no effort to achieve it.’

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