Right-back Rafinha, currently at São Paulo, revealed that he was sought out by three Brazilian clubs before returning to Brazil in 2019 to defend Flamengo.
- The player had been in Europe since 2005 and spent eight years playing for Bayern Munich.
- He said he wanted to return to Brazilian football at the time, despite having a proposal to renew with the German club and other offers abroad.
- Rafinha also stated that, before signing with Fla, he was sought after by Corinthians, Palmeiras and Cruzeiro over the years.
In 2013, I had a very close conversation with Corinthians. Then, in 2019, I had a conversation with Palmeiras. And with Cruzeiro, in 2017, I was very close to Cruzeiro. I wanted to make my career in Brazil, I only played one year at Coritiba”he declared to the ‘Flow Sport Club’ channel on YouTube.
asked for come back. There was also a proposal, in December 2018, for another two years of contract [com o Bayern]. But he had a lot of time outside Brazil, away from his family”he added.
Rafinha ended up signing with Rubro-negro and was introduced in June 2019.
However, the 37-year-old revealed he was shaken by a “scary” proposal sent by a Saudi Arabian club when he was chatting with the Rio team.
The contact of the Saudi team would even have happened on a day when Marcos Braz and Bruno Spindel, directors of the Fla, were at their home, in Germany. The winger says that the Arab intermediary was introduced to him by Franck Ribéry, a Frenchman who was his partner at Bayern.
Ribéry arrived, by surprise, at home. He said: ‘I came to hire you. There’s a team in Arabia that wants me and I asked to sign you too. How much do you want to earn there?’. The guy sent the proposal. I scared. I gave up so much on the financial side”he added.
The Flamengo shirt weighs a lot. Every player wants to play for Flamengo, that’s the truth. But you start to look the other way, eight years at Bayern, 15 in Europe, I thought: ‘What am I going to do there?’. Imagine if it goes wrong…”added Rafinha.
With the Rubro-negro, Rafinha was champion of the Brazilian Championship, Libertadores, Recopa Sudamericana and Supercopa do Brasil.
The side left the team in August 2020 to sign with Olympiakos, from Greece, where he stayed until returning to Brazil to defend Grêmio, in 2021. He has been playing for São Paulo since the beginning of last year.