Sóbis playing for Tigres in 2015
|Full name||Rafael Augusto Sóbis do Nascimento|
|Date of birth||17 June 1985|
|Place of birth||Erechim, Brazil|
|Height||1.72 m (5 ft 7 1⁄2 in)|
|2010–2011||→ Internacional (loan)||16||(4)|
|2011–2012||→ Fluminense (loan)||26||(10)|
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 30 August 2015.
Born in Erechim, Rio Grande do Sul, he started in the youth categories of Internacional, known only as Rafael. Inter's president at the time, Fernando Carvalho, suggested the change to only Sobis, his maternal surname of Ukrainian origins, because it could be more attractive for the European leagues, where the boy could get dual citizenship.
He went to the main team in 2004 and quickly won a place in it, being known by his name along the surname (with acute accent), Rafael Sóbis. Sóbis scored 19 goals in 35 matches in the 2005 season at the age of 19. In the following year, he was one of the main players in the Internacional squad that finished the Brazilian League in second place, and was selected by the CBF to play in the all star team at the end of the season. The 2006 season started slowly for him, as he fought against a series of injuries. He eventually recovered his place in the first team and helped Internacional secure the Copa Libertadores title; scoring twice in the first-leg of the final match against São Paulo.
Sóbis signed for Real Betis in August 2006 for €9 million, (R$21.8 million) putting pen to paper on an 8-year contract, a length reminiscent to that of fellow Brazilian international Denílson. Internacional only received 25% of the fee and the rest belong to other parties. Among 25% of Inter, R$272,500 was further deducted as agent fee. He was officially unveiled to the press on 8 September and made his Real Betis and La Liga debut against Athletic Bilbao two days later at the Manuel Ruiz de Lopera stadium, a game his team won 3–0.
Sóbis scored his first goals against city rivals Sevilla on 17 September, a match that Betis eventually lost 3–2. He also managed to score important goals against Celta de Vigo, a debut game for then newly appointed coach Luis Fernández. Ligament damage sustained in a game against RCD Mallorca meant that he missed a month of action. Sóbis' major contribution to the 2006–07 season was his late equaliser against Barcelona at the Camp Nou, assisted by fellow Brazilian Marcos Assunção.
He began his second season with Betis strongly, scoring three goals in his first six games, against Valencia CF, RCD Mallorca and 2007 UEFA Cup finalists RCD Espanyol but once again the Brazilian's form dipped. Betis received an offer of €10 million from English Premier League club Newcastle United for Sóbis in July 2008.
In July 2010, Sóbis returned to Internacional on loan for one year to play the Copa Libertadores. On 18 August, they defeated Chivas Guadalajara in the 2010 Copa Libertadores final with Sóbis scoring their first goal in their 3–2 win. He hurt his arm while scoring the goal by falling over it, and had to be replaced later on by Leandro Damião, who also ended up scoring a goal during the match. After the loan ended, Internacional did not use the buy option, due to his injuries and high price, and he returned to the Middle East.
On 24 December 2014, he left Fluminense by mutual consent.
Four days after leaving Fluminense, Sóbis joined Mexican side Tigres UANL for the Clausura 2015 tournament. He made his official debut on 31 January 2015, against Club América at the Estadio Azteca, and scored his first goal on 28 February in a 3–0 victory over Pumas UNAM at the Estadio Universitario.
He scored two goals of the 4–0 home victory on 17 March against Club Deportivo San José in the year's Copa Libertadores. On 4 April, he scored two goals on the 3–1 home victory over Tiburones Rojos de Veracruz. Sóbis played his first Clásico Regiomontano two weeks later, scoring the second goal of the 3–0 home victory against arch-rival CF Monterrey. On 5 May, he scored a penalty against Club Universitario, taking his team into the Libertadores quarter-finals, where he scored the first goal of the 2–0 home victory over Emelec. Tigres lost the finals of the 2015 Copa Libertadores against River Plate previously defeating Sóbis' former team Internacional in the semi-finals.
On August 15, he scored the third goal of the 4-1 home victory over Jaguares de Chiapas, his first goal of the Apertura 2015 tournament. He later scored against Querétaro FC in a 5-1 home win and against Tiburones Rojos de Veracruz in the 3-1 victory in Veracruz. Playing a more creative role in the Apertura 2015, Sóbis finished the regular season as the leader of goal assists with eight, and three goals.
Sóbis made his debut for Brazil on 3 September 2006 against Argentina at the Emirates Stadium in London; Brazil won the match 3–0 with Sóbis making his appearance as last-minute substitute for Robinho. He scored his first Brazil's goal in an unofficial friendly match against Kuwaiti club Al Kuwait on 7 October 2006.
Style of play
Sóbis is a dynamic and mobile forward that is able to play a more creative role due his good positional sense, vision and ability to pass and to shoot from range. Although his favored position is that of a striker, he can extend to either wing and also play as a second striker due his technique, that makes him an effective assist provider. At Tigres under Ricardo Ferretti, Sóbis plays a more versatile role as he has been deployed as a striker in the team's 4–4–2 formation, a second striker in the 4–4–1–1 and as a central attacking midfielder in the 4–2–3–1. A right-footed set-piece and penalty-kick specialist, he is also capable to pass, cross and finish with the left.
- As of 9 May 2011
- Copa Libertadores (2): 2006, 2010
- Brazilian team
- 2008 Olympic Games: Men's football Bronze medal
- "A estrela Sobis", Leandro Behs, Placar nº. 1289, December 2005, Editora Abril, pg. 78
- "RELATÓRIO DA DIRETORIA (2006)" (PDF) (in Portuguese). SC Internacional. Retrieved 26 April 2012.
- "Offer for Betis duo". Report on /www.realbetisbalompie.es. 16 July 2008. Retrieved 16 July 2008.
- "Sobis troca Bétis pelo Al-Jazira". 2 September 2008. Retrieved 2 September 2008.
- "Internacional wins Libertadores Cup". The Globe and Mail (Toronto). 19 August 2010. Retrieved 19 August 2010.
- "Rafael Sobis agradece ao Fluminense e se despede do clube via Instagram". Lancenet. Areté Editorial S.A Diário LANCE!. Retrieved 25 December 2014.
- "Rafael Sobis desembarca no México, e Tigres anuncia acerto com atacante". Globo Esporte. Globo. Retrieved 28 December 2014.
- Sinnott, John (3 September 2006). "Brazil 3-0 Argentina". BBC Sport. Retrieved 26 July 2015.
- "Five-star Brazil crush Kiwis". FIFA. 10 August 2008. Retrieved 26 July 2015.
- Rafael Sóbis Liga MX stats at Medio Tiempo.com (Spanish)
- (Spanish) Official Website of Real Betis Balompié S.A.D.
- Profile at Sambafoot.com