|Full name||Rafael de Souza Pereira|
|Date of birth||18 June 1989|
|Place of birth||Rio de Janeiro, Brazil|
|Height||1.79 m (5 ft 10 1⁄2 in)|
|Playing position||Defensive Midfielder|
|2010||→ Vasco da Gama (loan)||34||(0)|
|2014–2015||→ Atlético Mineiro (loan)||13||(0)|
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 00:00, 28 September 2015 (UTC).
Rafael came to Grêmio in 2006, as an amateur player. He was promoted to the first team after captaining the youth side in the Copa São Paulo de Futebol Júnior by the coach Vágner Mancini, but soon was relegated to the youth squad because of his lack of commitment in pre-season training. Before the beginning of the 2008 Brazilian Serie A, Mancini was fired and Rafael earned a new chance from the coach Celso Roth, the same coach who promoted Ronaldinho to the first team in 1998. He became the team's first-choice in the central midfield and created a strong partnership with William Magrão. Appearing as a defensive midfielder, Rafael missed just one league match and received just five yellow cards during the season.
The midfielder joined Atlético Mineiro on August 13, 2014 on a year-long loan deal. Carioca had a good second semester in 2014, becoming a first-choice player in Atlético's team that went on to win that year's Copa do Brasil. Rafael had a solid start in the following season, which included an impressive goal against Colo-Colo in the Copa Libertadores and a Campeonato Mineiro win, again as a part of the team's starting eleven. Rafael's loan deal with Atlético Mineiro was coming to an end in August, but the Brazilian club came to an agreement with Spartak Moscow for the purchase of 50% of the player's rights for an undisclosed fee. The deal meant a new contract for Carioca with Atlético, which now ends on August 2019.
In 2007, Carioca captained the Under-20 side and featured in the Sendai Cup for the Brazil Under-18 national team in the same year but was an unused substitute in the tournament. Rafael received his first international call-up for the Brazilian senior squad on 22 August 2016, for matches against Ecuador and Colombia.
- Atlético Mineiro
- "Rafael Carioca thrilled to join Spartak". UEFA.com. 2008-12-15. Retrieved 2008-12-26.
- "Mandarino diz que Vasco já fechou com Rafael Carioca" (in Portuguese). Netvasco. 2009-12-12. Retrieved 2009-12-24.
- "Rafael Carioca destaca qualidade e vontade do Galo e revela conversa com goleiro Victor" (in Portuguese). Superesportes. 2014-08-13. Retrieved 2014-08-13.
- "Novos contratos de Rafael Carioca e Douglas Santos com o Atlético são publicados pela CBF" (in Portuguese). Superesportes. 2015-07-21. Retrieved 2015-07-22.
- "Primeira lista de convocados do técnico Tite" [First call-up list by head coach Tite]. Brazilian Football Confederation (in Portuguese). 12 August 2016. Retrieved 22 August 2016.
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