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Raphinha, Xavi Hernandez’s Dream Winger

FC Barcelona have officially confirmed the arrival of Raphinha as the third signing of the summer transfer window. The Brazilian winger comes at the request of Xavi Hernandez. With him, the Blaugrana increase their quality in the final third, something that was greatly lacking last season.

For this reason, this week at the MBP School of Coaches, we will describe in depth the player profile of Raphinha through his structures and fundamentals, while trying to foresee what impact the player can have on Barca.

What is Raphina’s player profile?

Raphinha has played most of his career as a wide man, with the profile of a speedy winger.Despite playing on the right wing as a left-footed player, the Brazilian has had the ability to adapt to bring a unique variability of strengths to his teams.

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Likewise, thanks to the different capabilities that stand out in the player, the former Leeds star also can play in more central positions.

If we look at the different structures that the Carioca excels in, we can highlight the cognitive, conditional and coordination structures that dominate his game.

The winger has a brilliant understanding of the play. Because of this, he knows where to position himself to receive the ball with enough time and space to perform the subsequent action, or to generate advantages for his teammates.

Furthermore, another of his great qualities is his mastery in alternating the use of the speed of movement depending on the situation. Although Raphinha has great speed over long distances, he is also very explosive in shorter distances, managing to leave opponents behind with some ease.

Finally, the former Rennes winger also possesses tremendous technical ability. Although the player’s game is not based solely on getting around opponents through individual actions, as his game is dominated by technical actions of a collective nature, Raphinha is capable of producing situations of qualitative advantage for his team.


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What fundamentals of the game does Raphina master?

In terms of tactical aspects of the game, Raphinha has shown a great command of the different fundamentals of the winger’s position. In addition, the Brazilian has shown the ability to adapt his most recurrent tactical behaviors, depending on the game model of his team.

The first fundamental that we want to highlight is the IFP of the winger ‘creating an advantage through the control of the ball’.

Raphinha has a very high perceptive ability. Thanks to this factor, the player knows what type of control to perform depending on the distance to the opponent.

The second fundamental, which the winger has mastered the most, refers to his ability of ‘crossing to the spaces with the biggest advantages’. In spite of playing with his left foot, the Carioca dominates the timing of the crossing action, thus providing enough time for his teammate to finish successfully.


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Moreover, Raphinha also knows how to identify to which zone he should direct his movement depending on the crossing zone where the action is being made. As a result, the timing between the crosser and the future received is enhanced.

Finally, the third fundamental that has been most successfully executed this season refers to the universal collective one of zone 2, ‘searching for a game in progression, valuing the risk/benefit of the passes’.

As we have mentioned earlier in this article, the player is known for his cognitive and coordination skills. Because of this, the player can pick out passing lanes that other teammates would not see, in addition to possessing enough technical quality to execute them successfully.

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Similarly, another of the keys to the correct application of the fundamentals by the player is the skill he has in knowing when to apply them – thus generating a high advantage for his team – and when not to do so – since the possible turnover would be a risk.

What impact will Raphina have on FC Barcelona?

The impact Raphina will make on the Blaugrana most will be the quality in the final 3rd. As mentioned before, the winger has a differential individual quality, capable of generating situations of qualitative advantage for his team.

Likewise, the 25-year-old will also provide a large number of goals, taking some pressure off the strikers. This past season, he has managed to hit the back of the net a total of 13 times, a high number for a winger.

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Finally, another of the aspects that the Carioca will contribute will be the formation of synergies with players playing in the same sector, especially with the right-back. Being left footed, the Brazilian tends to orient his movements towards the central channel. Therefore, having a good relationship with the fullback in his sector is vital to ensure certain general principles within the game model.


 The arrival of Raphinha to the Azulgrana will allow Xavi Hernandez’s team to make a leap in quality in every sense of the word. The Brazilian is a differential player, and with the capacity to adapt enough to be able to have an impact on his new club from day one.


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