Raphinha performed South American ritual after Leeds avoided relegation

Leeds United will be a Premier League team in 2022/23.

Going into the final day of the season, Jesse Marsch’s side were the firm favourites to be relegated to the Championship.

Leeds were sat in 18th place and faced a tough trip to Brentford, while Burnley hosted Newcastle United at Turf Moor.

But it was Leeds who managed to get the job done, the Whites taking advantage of Burnley’s 2-1 defeat and beating Brentford by the exact same scoreline.

A penalty from Raphinha and a late strike by Jack Harrison secured Leeds’ most important victory in their recent history.

The scenes in the away end after the game were great to see and Raphinha got heavily involved.

Raphinha celebrates with the Leeds faithful

That image is part of the reason why football is the greatest sport in the world.

The Brazilian was also spotted walking the entire length of the pitch on his knees after the full-time whistle had been blown.

It’s apparently a South American ritual, whereby a person repays God for the wish that they requested.

Video: Raphinha walks the length of the pitch on his knees

The fans applauded Raphinha all the way, which was great to see.

So, Leeds will be playing Premier League football next season and it’ll certainly be interesting to see how they develop under Marsch’s leadership.

In his post-match interview, the American manager touched on the comparisons with Marcelo Bielsa that have been commonplace during his reign thus far.

“There’s so much been said about Marcelo Bielsa vs me and there’s been people counting us out,” he said. “I get it, this is high level stuff, and fans pay attention all over the world.

Leeds manager Jesse Marsch celebrates the win over Brentford
BRENTFORD, ENGLAND – MAY 22: Jesse Marsch, Manager of Leeds United celebrates avoiding relegation and their side’s victory in the Premier League match between Brentford and Leeds United at Brentford Community Stadium on May 22, 2022 in Brentford, England. (Photo by Alex Davidson/Getty Images)

“It’s not a perfect representation of what I want this team to be, but in this situation we came together well and I still feel strongly about the group we have and the football we can play. We need to get better and add some pieces but I love this group, team, character, commitment and spirit.

“We were with our fans enough and I appreciate the fans singing my name, but that’s not the important thing. We are Leeds United and that’s what we will always be as long as I am here – I love our fans but I don’t care if they sing my name.

“It’s important we are a committed group and show us that every time on the pitch.”

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