The 20-year-old has previously trained at the Bengaluru FC Academy, where he was a part of the team that won the Bengaluru Super Division. The youngster has also represented the country at the U-19 level and won the SAFF U-18 Championship 2019 in Nepal.
Speaking about the move, the youngster from Kerala was overjoyed and stated:
"It is an honor to sign for the I-League champions Gokulam Kerala FC. I have keenly followed their matches and I believe I can add more vigor and strength to their squad. I look forward to having a great season with the Malabarians."
VC Praveen, the president of Gokulam Kerala FC, was full of praise for their latest signing and said:
"Muhammed Rafi is an upcoming footballer from Kerala with ample experience with the national team in various age categories. We have a philosophy to promote young Kerala players and his signing is another example of it. We want to promote as many local talents as possible. I am sure Rafi will have a bright future with the club."
The Muvattupuzha-born defender-turned-wing-back put on a fine show in the recently-concluded Kerala Premier League. He is all set to make a mark in the I-League next season. Muhammed Rafi was also part of the qualifying rounds of the AFC U-19 Championship.
Muhammed Rafi recalls the SAFF U-18 final
The Indian football team lifted the SAFF U-18 Championship for the first time when they beat Bangladesh 2-1 in 2019.
India took an early lead in the second minute through Vikram Partap Singh's goal but Bangladesh struck back at the 40-minute mark. The game looked set to go into extra time when Ravi Bahadur Rana scored from 30 yards with a wonderful strike to give India the win.
"It was nice being part of what was a strong Indian team. We had trained hard under coach Floyd Pinto and it was great to finish as the champions after beating Bangladesh in the final," recalls Muhammed Rafi.
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The 4th edition of the SAFF U-18 Championship is expected to take place in October this year, with the venue yet to be decided.