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Barça have played 20 competitive games since club football resumed after the World Cup. And the only man who has appeared in every one of those matches is Raphinha. His excellent performances have not gone unnoticed and he is now a regular part of Xavi's plans, although the Barça boss will have to do without the Brazilian in the next game, against Elche, because his has picked up a five-card suspension.
Raphinha has only totally sat out two games this season, both before the World Cup. He wasn't used in the opening Champions League fixture against Viktoria Pilsen and also missed Athletic Club's visit to Spotify Camp Nou.
There were also 20 games played before Qatar 2022, so it's easy to compare the stats. Before the World Cup, Raphinha played 865 minutes. Afterwards, he has played 1,264 minutes, clearly reflecting how not only is he being used in more games, but he is also being used for considerably more time per game.
He's having a greater and greater impact on goalscoring too. His tally is currently at nine goals of his own and a further nine assists for his team-mates. That's participation in around 20% of Barça's total number of goals. And again, there is an evident improvement in his post-World Cup stats, with seven of his goals and five of his assists coming after he got back from Qatar, where he featured in all five of Brazil-s games.
And they're important goals that Raphinha is scoring too. The former Leeds United man scored the winners against all of Osasuna, Valencia and Athletic Club, all in the league.