REVEALED: Leeds United Talent Could Have Played for Italy, Says Agent Deco

Leeds United’s Brazilian forward Raphinha possesses an Italian passport, making him eligible to feature for the Azzurri rather than his home nation where he was born. He only just scored his debut goals for the Selecao, a brace, in their 4-1 win over Uruguay in the 2022 World Cup Qualifiers on October 14.

It has now been revealed by his agency D20 Sports, run by former Chelsea, Barcelona and Porto midfielder Deco that his future could have been much different if he chose to play for the Italian national team, instead of Brazil.

Speaking to Glolo Esporte, former Portuguese ace Deco commented: “He had an opportunity with the Italian national team last year, there was a strong attempt from the federation, and I gave him my advice. He knows what I think, I think that decisions must be wise.

I told Raphinha that he could have an opportunity in the Brazilian team, because he has different characteristics from the other wingers, I’ve always thought so. I see the national team, I know Raphinha and I watch football, I told him I would wait a bit, seeing that he would have had a chance.”

Raphinha’s contract in Leeds expires in June 2024 and along the way he has attracted interest from many several top European clubs.

“Raphinha has become an important player in the Premier League, the club knows he has grown and things will happen naturally. There is interest but nothing official. Leeds wanted to keep him for another season.”

The Brazilian winger has become an integral part of Marcelo Bielsa’s outfit since his move from Rennes in October 2020.