Copy of 2022-07-15T130657Z_386099179_UP1EI7F10FJBM_RTRMADP_3_SOCCER-SPAIN-FCB-RAPHINHA-1657957360421
Barcelona's new signing Raphinha poses for a picture during his unveiling at the Nou Camp. Image Credit: REUTERS

Striker Raphinha said on Friday that he was fulfilling a childhood dream by playing for Barcelona and following in the footsteps of fellow Brazilians such as Romario, Ronaldo, Ronaldinho and Neymar.

“All my idols played and made history here so it’s a huge honor and I can’t thank Barca enough for giving me the chance to wear this jersey,” Raphinha told a news conference after signing a contract until June 2027 with a buyout clause of a billion euros.

“I hope I can achieve half of what my idols accomplished here. It’s a dream come true for me and my family. I’m going to do my best to help this club win (trophies).” Leeds United agreed terms to sell the flamboyant 25-year-old to Barca for a reported 58 million-euro ($58 million) transfer fee that could be boosted to 68 million with add-ons.

Very exciting

“The beautiful game is back to Barcelona and that’s very meaningful to our club,” president Joan Laporta said standing beside Raphinha.

“For us, it is very exciting because all of us who have lived through Barca golden times, there has always been a Brazilian.

“Raphinha reminds us of this tradition; and he is here to pick up that baton.

“(Barca coach) Xavi... wanted to have Raphinha and we have done what we could. At all times, Raphinha has shown his desire to sign for Barca and that has been very important.”