Raphinha has reiterated his decision to snub a move to this summer was influenced by his desire to emulate his boyhood hero Ronaldinho.
The Blues looked to be in pole position to sign the Brazil international from Leeds after they gazumped rivals Arsenal, who had also expressed an interest in signing the 25-year-old.
Raphinha and his agent, former Barcelona and Chelsea star Deco, resisted Chelsea’s overtures and eventually managed to secure a move to Camp Nou.
The former Rennes star has hit the ground running since his move and played a key role in Barcelona’s impressive start to the new campaign.
Asked whether he turned down the chance to remain in the Premier League, Raphinha told : ‘Rejecting an offer from Chelsea? Yes, because my dream was to wear the Barca shirt.
‘I followed them since I was young, since Ronaldinho arrived. I wanted to be a part of it. The desire was stronger than any other proposal, no matter how powerful it was financially.’
‘I knew that I might have some difficulties to come and to be registered. But I was also aware of the effort the club was making.
‘So I decided to trust and adapt to the economic conditions that existed.
‘I was born in La Restinga, a very poor neighborhood in Porto Alegre. I had a very poor childhood, so to speak.
‘But my family taught me that humility and values are much more important than material things and that has saved me on many occasions.’
Barcelona’s form has, in part, been driven by the outstanding start fellow summer arrival Robert Lewandowski has made to his career in Spain having scored eight times in five appearances, including a hat-trick in the midweek Champions League win over Viktoria Plzen.
‘He’s a great footballer,’ Raphinha added. ‘We all already knew. But when you are with him you see that he’s much more than a leader.
‘We also have the talent of Dembele, Ansu Fati, Ferran Torres, Memphis… They all have immense quality.
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