“I always felt more Brazilian than Thiago, so I decided to play for Brazil, as my father did. The feeling of wearing that shirt is wonderful. Always been my dream to play for the Brazilian national team” - Rafinha
“Whether he is nonchalantly gliding past and shrugging defenders off, or steering a perfectly weighted pass into the road of a teammate with his paintbrush of a left foot - when witnessing Rafinha play, we can see that he has the same sense of freedom, rhythm and creativity as his compatriots in his persona. Rafinha has Brazilian blood and was raised around Brazilian parents and culture. These are traits that he will never stray from. That being said, from growing up in Europe and particularly the Catalan culture, he has learned extremely important lessons in ethics, values, being humble and respectful, and working hard. With Rafinha’s flamboyancy, natural flair and eagerness to impress coinciding with his hard-work, selfless running and defensive sacrifice for the team, he brings a rare cocktail to Barcelona’s world-shaking team.”
The young maestro was born on the 12th of February 1993, in São Paulo, Brazil. Joining La Masia, FC Barcelona’s famed youth academy at the age of 13, this was the first step of many in his footballing career. Rafinha could have claimed Spanish nationality like his older brother, Thiago Alcântara, but he decided to follow in the footsteps of his father, Mazinho the 1994 World Cup winner and chose Brazil.