||This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. (December 2010)|
Rafinha with Schalke 04 in 2005
|Full name||Márcio Rafael Ferreira de Souza|
|Date of birth||7 September 1985|
|Place of birth||Londrina, Brazil|
|Height||1.71 m (5 ft 7 1⁄2 in)|
|Playing position||Right back|
|Current club||Bayern Munich|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 18:30, 8 March 2014 (UTC).
† Appearances (Goals).
Márcio Rafael Ferreira de Souza, commonly known as Rafinha, (born 7 September 1985) is a Brazilian footballer who plays as a right back for Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga. His name translated to English literally means 'Little Rafa'. He is known as a skilled defender with good passing skills, quick pace, agility and a strong shot.
Brazil and Schalke
Rafinha began his football career at the age of seven, playing for Gremio Londrinense, a futsal team from his home town of Londrina in Paraná. By the age of twelve, he had begun training with PSTC, a local football club, before signing for Londrina Esporte Clube in 2001, at the age of 16. At the end of his first year with Londrina Rafinha was signed by Coritiba Foot Ball Club. This meant moving hundreds of kilometres from his home town, but allowed Rafinha to display his talents on the national stage.
At Coritiba Rafinha eventually found his way into the Brazilian Under-20 team, and played in the 2005 FIFA World Youth Championship in the Netherlands. During the tournament Rafinha scored two goals and played an integral part in Brazil's progress to the bronze medal. Rafinha's performance at the tournament alerted numerous European teams to his ability, and eventually it was Schalke who were able to prise the right-back from Coritiba for an estimated €5 million on a four-year contract.
FC Bayern Munich
On 1 June 2011, along with Manuel Neuer, Bayern Munich confirmed Rafinha's transfer from Genoa. He signed a three-year contract and reports say Bayern Munich paid 5.5 million euros for him. He scored his first goal for Bayern Munich against Villareal in a 2–0 win on 14 September 2011. Coming on as an 83rd minute substitute during an away match against Fortuna Düsseldorf on 20 October 2012, he scored his first Bundesliga goal for Bayern.
U-23 (2008 Olympics)
In the summer of 2008 Rafinha was involved in a dispute with his club about his participation for Brazil at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.
Schalke 04 (Rafinha) along with Werder Bremen (Diego) and Barcelona (Lionel Messi) did not want to release their players for the Olympic games so that they could help them in their domestic and European competitions. The case was taken to FIFA who ruled that all clubs should release their players aged under 23 for the Olympic Games.
Schalke, Bremen and Barcelona took their case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) who eventually ruled in the clubs favour stating that "The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has upheld the appeals filed by FC Schalke 04, SV Werder Bremen and FC Barcelona against the decision issued on 30 July 2008 by the Single Judge of the Fifa's Players' Status Committee that consequently has been set aside in its entirety".
Schalke continued to refuse Rafinha from attending the Olympics. However, Rafinha competed as part of the Brazilian team, who won bronze, despite the wishes of his club. On 24 September 2008, Schalke handed Rafinha a record fine of €700,000 as they believed his 35 days in Beijing were "in serious breach of contract".
Brazil main team
On 11 February 2014, Rafinha was called up by Scolari for a friendly against South Africa, on 5 March. This game, besides of counting with footballers who do not play in Brazil, is preparatory for 2014 FIFA World Cup, and, thus, Rafinha still can dream to be in the list for playing the main competition of football.
|Club performance||League||Cup||League Cup||Continental||Other||Total|
|Latest update: 8 March 2014|
- Bayern Munich
- Bundesliga: 2012–13
- DFB-Pokal: 2012–13
- DFL-Supercup: 2012
- UEFA Champions League: 2012–13
- UEFA Super Cup: 2013
- FIFA Club World Cup: 2013
- "FIFA Club World Cup Morocco 2013: List of Players" (PDF). FIFA. 7 December 2013. p. 5. Retrieved 7 December 2013.
- "Player Profile". FC Bayern Munich AG. Retrieved 1 July 2012.
- "Brazilian defender inks three-year deal" (in German). FC Bayern Munich. 1 June 2011. Retrieved 2 June 2011.
- "Player Profile". whoscored.com. Retrieved 1 July 2012.
- "Genoa refit continues with Rafinha". UEFA.com. 4 August 2010. Retrieved 14 July 2011.
- "Genoa selling Rafinha to Bayern Munich today". tribalfootball.com. 30 May 2011. Retrieved 14 July 2011.
- "Trio win Olympics appeal". skysports.com. 6 August 2008. Retrieved 24 September 2008.
- "Fernandinho e Rafinha são as novidades de Felipão em convocação" (in Portuguese). gazetaesportiva.net. 11 February 2014. Retrieved 11 February 2014.
- "Rafinha" (in German). kicker.de. Retrieved 8 March 2014.