Brazil legend Rivaldo makes Raphinha prediction after Leeds United form

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Brazil legend Rivaldo has backed Raphinha to become a key man for his country after impressing with Leeds United.

The Whites’ winger has handed his first call-up to the Brazil squad in September but was unable to join up due to travel restrictions.

Raphinha was then called up against for the October internationals and his hopes of playing in Brazil yellow with the Premier League expected to allow players to travel to red-listed countries and return without quarantining.

That would allow Raphinha to potentially earn his first cap, highlighting Leeds ‘ role in his rise to prominence in the Premier League.

Rivaldo believes it’s an opportunity the winger deserves and has backed him to prove his importance ahead of the 2022 World Cup.

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“Leeds United winger Raphinha has been called up to the Brazilian national team for the first time to compete in World Cup qualifiers next month,” he told Betfair.

“This is his reward for his excellent performances for Leeds in the Premier League.

“He has already scored three times in six league matches this season.

“He’s quick and versatile, has a lot of passing and shooting quality, so he has many qualities which are valuable to a team.

“Raphinha now has a great chance to prove to Tite that he deserves to be in next year’s World Cup squad, but he needs to keep up his good performances all season if he’s to become an established player in the Brazil set up.”

Former Middlesbrough midfielder Juninho Paulista, who is now the Brazil national team’s coordinator, expects an agreement to be reached by the relevant parties to allow Premier League players to feature for Brazil.

“We’ve had lots of positive meetings with FIFA, the Premier League and the British government, and we trust that there will be a positive solution next week,” he said.

“That is why we have called them up.”

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