FC Barcelona return to league action soon enough in a clash against RCD Mallorca away from home. Entering their seventh game of La Liga EA Sports 2023/24 campaign, Barcelona will head into the match with their morale at an all-time high due to their extraordinary comeback against Celta Vigo.
However, despite being fully aware that they must do whatever it takes to come home with all three points against Mallorca, Xavi Hernandez has been insistent that he will proceed with various rotations this season to ensure that the quality talent in his sizeable squad all get their chances to shine at one point or another.
According to Spanish outlet SPORT, the one winger that is almost guaranteed to start the next game for FC Barcelona is Raphinha. The 26-year-old Brazilian winger has thus far not had consistent starts for La Blaugrana and this opportunity may just provide him with the chance to prove that he deserves them.
Following his dismissal against Getafe in the opening game of the league season, Raphinha has featured quite seldomly for the Catalans. It further did not help his cause when his dismissal coincided with the rising performances of both Ferran Torres and Lamine Yamal, as the two Spaniards overtook the Brazilian in the hierarchy of forwards under Xavi.
Despite this major setback, Raphinha was not one to complain and instead has been working on himself to earn his spot back. The Brazilian winger showcased those qualities that may lead him back against both Royal Antwerp in the UEFA Champions League and against Real Betis.
In the European encounter against the Belgian outfit, Raphinha was directly responsible for the own goal that ended up being Barca’s third of the night as well as assisting Joao Felix’s goal in the game. Moreover, in the clash against Real Betis, Raphinha scored the fourth goal for Barcelona with a powerful strike from distance.
While other forwards may also see rotations and for now it is unclear who Xavi Hernandez decides to bench or not, it seems to be almost taken for granted that Raphinha will likely start for Barcelona. Xavi even recently commented on his attitude and likened it to Ferran Torres when the Spaniard was slowly earning his place back as well:
“Rafa came on very well; he reminded me of Ferran when he wasn’t playing as much. He was excellent defensively and important in the second goal. He can play as an interior midfielder or an attacking midfielder. He hasn’t played much because of a red card or suspension against Getafe, but from now on, he will play and be important; I have no doubt.”