Rafael Alcântara do Nascimento, popularly known as Rafinha is a Brazilian footballer who was born on 12 February 1993 in São Paulo, Brazil.
This left-footed player performs the role of a Midfielder in the team and is known for his excellent passing abilities. Currently, he plays for Italian club, Inter Milan on loan from FC Barcelona.
Rafinha had joined FC Barcelona as a youth player at the age of 13 and was trained with the club before playing his first U-16 game for Spain in 2009. In the 2009-10 season, he appeared in 8 games for Spain U-17 team and netted 2 goals.
He also played for Spain U-19 team before making his debut for Barcelona's B-team on 8 January 2011 against Girona FC. He had come on the field in the 55th minute of the match, replacing Jonathan dos Santos.
Rafinha made his professional debut for the senior team of Barcelona FC on 9 November 2011 in a game of Copa del Rey against CE L'Hospitalet, substituting Cesc Fàbregas. Barcelona had won the game by 1-0.
After playing with several youth teams of Spain, he switched to Brazil and represented its U-20 team at the 2013 South American Youth Championship. On the basis of his performance, Brazilian manager, Dunga named him as a stand-by player for the 2015 Copa América. On 5 September 2015, he played his first international game against Costa Rica, coming in the 81st minute. His first international goal came in the very second game against the United States, helping his team to beat US by 4-1.
Rise to glory
Although, Rafinha is not known for scoring plenty of goals but he remains an asset to the team as he possesses ability to create chances of scoring goals in the midfield. However, playing with Barcelona B, he had netted 19 goals in 84 matches.
In 2013, Celta de Vigo acquired him on loan and he instantly emerged as a vital part to the tactics of club's manager Luis Enrique. Playing 32 games, he scored 4 goals, gave 5 assists and was also named player of the month in February by the LFP.
He returned to Barcelona for the 2014-15 season and helped the club with his attacking play in the middle, securing UEFA Champions League trophy.
In 2016, Rafinha also played a crucial part in winning the Gold at Rio Olympics for Brazil.
Rafinha has played 79 matches for the senior team of FC Barcelona till date and claimed 11 goals whereas playing for Celta de Vigo, he has got 4 goals in his name, featuring in 33 games for the club.
He was also named La Liga Breakthrough Player for 2013-14 season.