Rafa lining up for Braga in 2016
|Full name||Rafael Alexandre Fernandes Ferreira da Silva|
|Date of birth||17 May 1993|
|Place of birth||Forte da Casa, Portugal|
|Height||1.72 m (5 ft 8 in)|
|Playing position||Attacking midfielder|
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 21 September 2019|
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 10 September 2019
Rafael Alexandre "Rafa" Fernandes Ferreira da Silva ComM (Portuguese pronunciation: [ˈʁafɐ ˈsiɫvɐ]; born 17 May 1993) is a Portuguese footballer who plays for Benfica and the Portugal national team as an attacking midfielder.
After starting his professional career at Feirense he transferred to Braga in 2013 and went on to make over 100 appearances for them, winning the 2016 Portuguese Cup. He joined Benfica in 2016, winning two Primeira Liga championships during his spell.
Born in Forte da Casa, Vila Franca de Xira, Silva started playing football with Atlético Povoense and F.C. Alverca, both in the Lisbon District. In 2011, aged 18, he signed with C.D. Feirense with which he played his last year as a junior.
Silva made his professional debut on 29 July 2012, playing the full 90 minutes in a 2–1 home win against F.C. Penafiel for the season's Taça da Liga. He only missed one game in the league campaign, totalling more than 3,200 minutes of action to help his team finish 13th in the Segunda Liga.
In June 2013, Silva signed a five-year contract with S.C. Braga for an undisclosed fee. On 10 November he scored his first goals, striking twice in a 3–1 win at S.C. Olhanense in the fourth round of the Taça de Portugal; nineteen days later he scored for the first time in the league, in a 4–1 home win over the same opposition. He finished his first year with 23 appearances and three goals to help to a ninth-place finish.
The following season, Silva was ever-present in the league, starting all but one game. He scored three times in the 2014–15 Taça de Portugal, including one in the final which they lost in a penalty shootout to Sporting CP at the Estádio Nacional on 31 May 2015.
Silva scored the only goal on his UEFA Europa League debut on 17 September 2015 to defeat FC Slovan Liberec away, and added two further goals in a run to the quarter-finals. After a 2015–16 season in which Braga won the cup final against FC Porto, he was coveted by S.L. Benfica.
On 1 September 2016, defending champions Benfica announced that Silva had signed a five-year contract with the club, in a deal totalling €16.4 million. His release clause was set at €60 million. He made his debut eight days later, starting in a 2–1 win at F.C. Arouca.
In his 14th game, on 22 January 2017, as a late substitute for Kostas Mitroglou, Silva scored his first goal for the team in a 4–0 win over C.D. Tondela at the Estádio da Luz. In that season, he also played seven minutes in the final of the domestic cup, won after defeating Vitória de Guimarães 2–1.
After scoring in both games against Azerbaijan in qualification, Silva was part of the under-21 team that finished as runners-up at the 2015 UEFA European Championship in the Czech Republic. He returned to the full side for UEFA Euro 2016, making his debut in the competition on 18 June by coming on as an 89th-minute substitute for Nani in a 0–0 draw with Austria at the Parc des Princes.
|Club||Season||League||National Cup||League Cup||Continental||Total|
- Appearance in the 2016 Supertaça Cândido de Oliveira
- "Feirense bate Penafiel (2–1)" [Feirense beat Penafiel (2–1)]. Record (in Portuguese). 29 July 2012. Retrieved 4 January 2018.
- "Feirense-Freamunde, 3–1: Pires carimbou a vitória" [Feirense-Freamunde, 3–1: Pires sealed win]. Record (in Portuguese). 28 April 2013. Retrieved 4 January 2018.
- ""Doidos" por Rafa" ["Crazy" about Rafa]. Record (in Portuguese). 2 July 2013. Retrieved 3 October 2013.
- "Rafa até 2018" [Rafa until 2018]. Record (in Portuguese). 21 June 2013. Archived from the original on 26 September 2013. Retrieved 25 September 2013. Cite uses deprecated parameter
- Rodrigues, Hugo (10 November 2013). "Olhanense perde com o Braga e sai da Taça de Portugal" [Olhanense lose to Braga and exit Portuguese Cup] (in Portuguese). Sul Informação. Retrieved 23 March 2016.
- "Primeira Liga: Braga 4 Olhanense 1". FourFourTwo. 29 November 2013. Retrieved 23 March 2016.
- "Jackson Martínez y Felipe Pardo, figuras en la Liga de Portugal" [Jackson Martínez and Felipe Pardo, figures in the Portuguese League]. El Tiempo (in Spanish). 9 February 2014. Retrieved 23 March 2016.
- "Sporting beats Braga on penalties to win Portuguese Cup". Yahoo! News. 31 May 2015. Retrieved 23 March 2016.
- "Braga edge out in-form Liberec". UEFA. 17 September 2015. Retrieved 16 June 2016.
- "Benfica aperta para fechar Rafa ainda antes do Europeu" [Benfica close in on Rafa before the Euro]. O Jogo (in Portuguese). 26 May 2016. Retrieved 16 June 2016.
- "SL Benfica sign Rafa from SC Braga". S.L. Benfica. 1 September 2016. Retrieved 2 September 2016.
- "Comunicado" [Announcement] (in Portuguese). S.L. Benfica. 1 September 2016. Retrieved 2 September 2016.
- "Benfica vence em Arouca em dia de estreia de Rafa" [Benfica win in Arouca on Rafa's debut] (in Portuguese). SAPO Desporto. 9 September 2016. Retrieved 20 February 2017.
- "Rafa Silva estreia-se a marcar pelas Águias" [Rafa Silva scores maiden goal for Eagles]. Record (in Portuguese). 22 January 2017. Retrieved 20 February 2017.
- "Oito minutos à Benfica garantiram a 11.ª dobradinha" [Eight Benfica-like minutes confirmed 11th double]. Diário de Notícias (in Portuguese). 28 May 2017. Retrieved 6 May 2018.
- "Rafa winner gives Benfica the edge in title-scented Clássico". PortuGOAL. 2 March 2019. Retrieved 4 March 2019.
- "Benfica: os números de Rafa na noite em que bateu um recorde pessoal" [Rafa's numbers on the night he broke a personal record] (in Portuguese). Maisfutebol. 3 March 2019. Retrieved 4 March 2019.
- "Seleção de sub-20 perde diante do Uzbequistão" [Under-20 national team lose against Uzbekistan] (in Portuguese). SAPO Desporto. 23 April 2013. Retrieved 1 October 2018.
- "Rafa e Ivan Cavaleiro convocados para jogo da selecção com os Camarões" [Rafa and Ivan Cavaleiro called for national team game with Cameroon]. Público (in Portuguese). 28 February 2014. Retrieved 3 March 2014.
- "Ronaldo reaches new milestone in Portugal win". UEFA. 5 March 2014. Retrieved 5 March 2014.
- "Paulo Bento announces Portugal's 23-man World Cup squad". PortuGOAL. 19 May 2014. Archived from the original on 31 May 2014. Retrieved 20 May 2014. Cite uses deprecated parameter
- "Portugal press on with Azerbaijan win". UEFA. 15 October 2013. Retrieved 25 March 2016.
- "Portugal end group in perfect fashion". UEFA. 9 September 2014. Retrieved 25 March 2016.
- Kell, Tom (30 June 2015). "Spot-on Sweden beat Portugal to win U21 EURO". UEFA. Retrieved 25 March 2016.
- "Portugal name Bayern Munich signing Renato Sanches for Euros squad". ESPN FC. 17 May 2016. Retrieved 18 June 2016.
- "Austria hold on after Ronaldo penalty miss". UEFA. 18 June 2016. Retrieved 19 June 2016.
- Rafa Silva at ForaDeJogo. Retrieved 1 December 2018.
- Rafa Silva at Soccerway
- "Rafa Silva". European Football. Retrieved 10 September 2019.
- "Rafa Silva". National Football Teams. Benjamin Strack-Zimmerman. Retrieved 10 September 2019.
- "Seleção recebe insígnias de Marcelo no Porto" [National team receives insignia from Marcelo in Porto]. Diário de Notícias (in Portuguese). 25 August 2016. Retrieved 11 August 2017.