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Rafinha says the fight for places is healthy for Brazil

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RIO DE JANEIRO, Sept. 23 (Xinhua) — Rafinha praised the competition for places in Brazil’s national team ahead of friendlies against Ghana and Tunisia.

The Barcelona forward is expected to feature on the right side of a five-man attack when the South American giants take on Ghana in France on Friday.

But he knows one mediocre performance could cost him a place in the starting line-up amid pressure from Anthony, who has impressed at Manchester United since joining the Premier League club earlier this month.

“I am preparing a lot to be in good physical and mental shape, both as a starter and as a reserve,” Rafinha told reporters.

The 25-year-old made a poor start to his time at the Camp Nou, arriving from Leeds United in July. He made seven appearances in all competitions for the Catalan club, scoring one goal and providing one assist.

He is confident that the attacking formation, which also includes Lucas Paqueta, Neymar and Richarlison, is capable of destroying the most organized defence.

“As a forward, the more offensive the game plan is, the better for me because we’re going to be closer to the goal,” he said. “We have a very attacking style of play, but we also know about the responsibility in defense and we work hard for it. With the ball in attack, everyone has their own creativity and style of play to contribute something unique.”

Brazil’s clash with Ghana is followed by another friendly against Tunisia four days later.

These matches will be the last chance for coach Tite to test his team before the World Cup, which will be held in Qatar from November 20 to December 18.

The five-time world champions have been drawn in Group G alongside Serbia, Switzerland and Cameroon.

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