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From Rafinha to Rafael

Rafinha poses with the Real Sociedad shirt, in an image of the club.

When Rafinha Alcántara (São Paulo, 28 years old) arrived at PSG in 2020, decided to change his image through his own name. On the dorsal of his shirt was the name of the battery, Rafael, and not the diminutive with which he arrived in professional football, with Barça. This Tuesday, in his presentation with the Royal Society, he also preferred to do it like this: “I made that decision when I arrived in Paris, I took my birth name, it is something that excites me. I know that everyone knows me as Rafinha and you can call me whatever you want ”, he pointed out.

But it sounds like a gesture of maturity, to want to take off completely, despite his already long sporting career that began in the lower teams of Barcelona and that has been developed by great European express, such as Barça itself, Inter or PSG, but also in two periods in the Celta and now at Real Sociedad, a club that seeks, probably, the same way of playing as the Galician team, but offers, at the same time, more solidity and sporting stability.

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In Celta he continues to be remembered, not so much in the other teams in which he lined up, although in all of them had brilliant moments. Perhaps the torn cruciate ligament that he suffered in 2015, when he was only 22 years old, was the cause of his irregular trajectory, a curse that haunted him and also his brother Thiago, a Bayern footballer.

The injuries have hampered his progression, although his class is far from any doubt. Luis Enrique understood it that way. It gave him confidence in Celta and later made him one of his praetorians at Barcelona, ​​until he suffered a ligament injury for which he had not played for almost a year. The arrival of Rafinha occurs through a six-month loan, with no option to purchase, although Jokin Aperribay, the club's president, wanted to clarify.

Willingness to purchase

“The important thing was that Rafinha be with us soon. Putting yourself to consider other different things would have delayed the negotiation ”. That is, the Royal accepted the initial proposal of the Parisian entity, “and then we will see the future, we have six months to speak calmly, this is a matter of will,” he added, implying that the Royal would be willing to negotiate the purchase of the rights of Rafinha.

The footballer will not be able to play against Alavés next Sunday, despite the numerous casualties of La Real, because the winter market and federative registration opens the next day, but I was looking forward to catching up in Zubieta. “From here I go quickly to training,” he commented in his presentation. “I am looking forward to meeting my teammates and the coach.” He did it right away. He traveled to the Real grounds together with the sports director, Roberto Olabe, who showed him the facilities, and then he entered the field after dressing almost to a jump, since LaLiga protocols on the covid do not allow changing in the locker room .

Before He had interviewed coach Imanol Alguacil, with whom he chatted for a long time, and who, according to Rafinha, leads a team that “seeks to have the ball, that attacks with the ambition to win every game, that competes against all rivals . They are very attractive aspects that have helped me to come here. ”

He wants to play, more than with Pochettino, who only had lined up in five games this season, and only one full. With Tuchel on the bench, his presence was much more important. “I define myself as a midfielder who has a habit of playing in different positions,” he said. “If they ask me, I can even play as a winger,” he said. And he pointed to the cause: “I have been preparing for this opportunity for months. The time has come and I am available for when the coach understands that I must jump onto the pitch ”.

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