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Raphinha is one of the most in-form players at Barça right now, with the goals and assists flowing like never before. Following his goal against Valencia at the weekend, the Brazilian has eight in total, and nine assists as well.
Raphinha has played 36 games this season, which is already his second most active season ever, and he needs just eight more appearances to top the 43 that he played in his final year at Portuguese club Vitória Guimarães.
If we compare his current campaign to the previous one, when he was at Leeds United, we note that he has already scored eight goals compared to the 11 he scored in the Premiership. The big difference, however, is that at Barça he has done that in just 1,963 minutes, while he had a thousand more (2,967) to score them for the Yorkshire-based club. That's a vastly improved goals-per-minute rate.
In fact, a goal every 245 minutes is his best ever register, and his 11.27% shot conversion rate is a career high.
Testimony of Xavi's uncreased faith in him is that of the 22 games he has actually started, eight of them have been in the last ten games.
Scoring with his head
Raphinha's aerial ability is one of the factors that has most grabbed our eyes. He is a real threat coming through from behind to meet high balls. This seems to be a new facet of his game, for although the winner against Valencia was his third headed goal of 2022/23, before this, he had never, ever scored a single competitive senior goal that way.
In fact he's now matched in La Liga with Joselu, Chimi Ávila, Muriqui and Militao, the only other players who have headed in three goals this term.
This is also already his joint highest season for assists. In 2020/21 he set up nine goals for his Leeds United colleagues, the same number of assists as he has made since joining Barça. And there are still plenty of games still to go before the end of the season. Way to go, Raphinha!
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