Rafinha (footballer, born 1993)
Rafinha playing for Barcelona in 2014
|Full name||Rafael Alcântara do Nascimento|
|Date of birth||12 February 1993|
|Place of birth||São Paulo, Brazil|
|Height||1.74 m (5 ft 8 1⁄2 in) |
|Playing position||Attacking midfielder|
|2013–2014||→ Celta (loan)||32||(4)|
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
He started his career with Barcelona, making his debut with the first team in 2011. After a loan at Celta Vigo, he played his first league match for the Catalans in 2014.
Born in São Paulo, Brazil, Rafinha joined FC Barcelona's youth ranks at the age of 13. On 8 January 2011 he made his professional debuts with the B-team, coming on as a substitute for Jonathan dos Santos in the 55th minute of a 1–2 home loss against Girona FC for the second division championship.
Rafinha made his debut with Barcelona main squad on 9 November 2011, taking the place of Cesc Fàbregas for the last 15 minutes of a 1–0 away win against CE L'Hospitalet for the season's Copa del Rey. He finished the league campaign with 39 games – 35 starts – and eight goals for the reserves.
Rafinha made his debut in the main category of Spanish football on 19 August 2013, helping Celta to a 2–2 home draw against RCD Espanyol. He scored his first goal for the Galicians 12 days later, in another draw at the Balaídos (1–1, with Granada CF).
Rafinha netted a brace at Real Sociedad on 23 November, but it amounted to nothing as the hosts won it 4–3 with four goals from Carlos Vela. He was voted the league's Breakthrough Player of the Season, ahead of Real Madrid's Jesé and Rayo Vallecano's Saúl Ñíguez.
Rafinha made his top flight debut for Barcelona on 24 August 2014 at the Camp Nou, in Luis Enrique's first match in charge. He played the first half of an eventual 3–0 win over Elche CF before being substituted for Marc Bartra.
On 25 November 2014, Rafinha assisted Lionel Messi's goal in a 4–0 win at APOEL Nicosia which made him the outright top scorer in the history of the Champions League; however, Rafinha was sent off for two bookings later on in the match.
With compatriot Neymar out through illness, Rafinha started on the left of Barcelona's attack in the 2015 UEFA Super Cup against Sevilla FC in Tbilisi, and scored their third goal in a 5–4 triumph.
Rafinha played for Spain at youth level, gaining 14 caps for three different teams. In late 2012, however, he switched allegiance to Brazil, going on to represent the under-20s at the 2013 South American Youth Championship in Argentina. He was one of seven stand-by players named by Dunga for the senior team at the 2015 Copa América.
Rafinha's father, Mazinho, was also a footballer and a midfielder, notably winning the 1994 FIFA World Cup with Brazil. His mother, Valéria, played volleyball, whilst his elder brother, Thiago – another midfielder – also emerged through Barcelona's youth ranks, going on to represent its first team and the Spanish national side. Thiago now plays for German club FC Bayern Munich.
- As of 24 May 2015
|Club||Season||League||Copa del Rey||Europe||Other||Total|
- Appearances in UEFA Champions League
- "Rafinha, cedido al Celta de Vigo" [Rafinha, loaned to Celta de Vigo] (in Spanish). Barcelona's official website. 15 July 2013. Retrieved 2 March 2014.
- "El Girona se aprovecha de un loco final" [Girona profits from crazy ending] (in Spanish). Marca. 8 January 2011. Retrieved 17 February 2014.
- Otro 'Iniestazo' (Another 'Iniestazo'); Marca, 9 November 2011 (Spanish)
- "FC Barcelona agree to extend Rafinha's contract". Barcelona's official website. 27 June 2013. Retrieved 27 June 2013.
- "Rafinha, cedido al Celta" [Rafinha, loaned to Celta] (in Spanish). Diario AS. 11 July 2013. Retrieved 6 October 2013.
- "Charles makes instant Celta impact". ESPN FC. 19 August 2013. Retrieved 17 February 2014.
- "Celta Vigo hold Granada". ESPN FC. 31 August 2013. Retrieved 17 February 2014.
- "Real Sociedad 4–3 Celta: Carlos Vela reina en la locura de Anoeta" [Real Sociedad 4–3 Celta: Carlos Vela reigns in Anoeta madness] (in Spanish). Goal.com. 23 November 2013. Retrieved 17 February 2014.
- "gala de premios LFP 2013/14" [LFP Awards show 2013/14] (in Spanish). Liga de Fútbol Profesional. Retrieved 10 November 2014.
- Cryer, Andy (24 August 2014). "Barcelona 3-0 Elche". BBC Sport. Retrieved 25 August 2014.
- "Apoel Nic 0-4 Barcelona". BBC Sport. 25 November 2014. Retrieved 25 November 2014.
- "Barcelona 5-4 Sevilla". BBC Sport. 11 August 2015. Retrieved 12 August 2015.
- Rafa Alcântara – UEFA competition record
- Rafinha to play the U20 South American Championship with Brazil; Barcelona's official website, 30 November 2012
- "Kaka among 7 alternates in Brazil's Copa America squad". ESPN. Associated Press. 12 May 2015. Retrieved 29 May 2015.
- "Thiago y Jonathan, ADN fútbol" [Thiago and Jonathan, football DNA] (in Spanish). El Mundo Deportivo. 21 August 2009. Retrieved 9 January 2011.
- Primos en el césped (Cousins on the pitch); Marca, 5 December 2012 (Spanish)
- "Rafinha". Soccerway. Retrieved 17 February 2014.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Rafa Alcántara.|
- Rafinha on Twitter
- FC Barcelona official profile
- Rafinha profile at BDFutbol
- Rafinha profile at Soccerway
- Rafinha – UEFA competition record