Raphinha’s nightmare return to Barcelona from Brazil

Raphinha of Brazil during the World Cup match between Croatia v Brazil at the Education City Stadium on December 9, 2022 in Al Rayyan Qatar.

Barcelona forward Raphinha was due to return to training this Wednesday along with Memphis Depay, as the last of the non-French players to come back from World Cup duty. However travel delays mean he will likely be back on Thursday.

After 11 days of holiday following Brazil’s elimination on penalties at the hands of Croatia, Raphinha was due to fly back to Barcelona from Brazil, via Lisbon. A lengthy layover in Portugal and some lost luggage mean he will be late back to work though.

The Brazilian winger posted the following on his Instagram account.

“I would like to thank TAP for leaving us on the plane for more than an hour. And now they inform us that we are going to be sitting on the plane for another hour without being able to get out, so it’s been 2 hours on a stopped plane. Detail: many people had a layover and could not have lunch, I’m one of those people, and they said they’re not going to give us lunch or anything. What a beautiful lack of respect on TAP.”

“Thank you TAP once again, besides delaying a flight for 3 hours (sitting inside the plane). They managed to lose two bags”, he posted in his following story, referring to airline TAP Air Portugal.

Far from the ideal return to action, Raphinha will be hoping for a fast start. The Brazilian was on the bench for the Blaugrana’s final games of the year, after telling Xavi Hernandez that he would rather fight for his place on the right of the front three than play on the left. 

With Ousmane Dembele absent until just before Barcelona’s first game back against Espanyol on the 31st of December, Raphinha could get a headstart in that battle.

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