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体坛英语新闻:Ex-Bayern defender Rafinha ready for Flamengo challenge

Source: Xinhuanet    2019-07-12  我要投稿   论坛   Favorite  

RIO DE JANEIRO, June 25 (Xinhua) -- Former Bayern Munich full-back Rafinha said he is ready for the pressure of playing at one of Brazil's biggest clubs as he officially began a two-year contract with Flamengo on Tuesday.

The 33-year-old former Brazil international said that 13 years in Germany's top flight had left him well prepared to aid Flamengo's pursuit of a first Brazilian Serie A title since 2009.

"I'm used to that (pressure of playing at a big club)," Rafinha said. "I played at Bayern for eight years and Schalke for five. They are both very big clubs and the pressure is high. If you are the current champions, there's no resting. You have to prepare for the next title. There is also pressure here (at Flamengo) and that's how it should be. I'm not a kid anymore and I'm prepared for it."

Rafinha revealed he received a raft of offers to remain in Europe after leaving Bayern last month, but said the time was right for a new challenge in his homeland.

The former Coritiba right-back was given a hero's welcome by hundreds of Flamengo fans at Rio's Santos Dumont airport on Tuesday before heading straight to the club's Ninho do Urubu sports complex in Rio's west to meet his new teammates.

"The way I was greeted was fantastic," Rafinha said. "In Europe, it's not like that. There were even some old ladies jostling in the crowd, trying to give me some encouragement. Flamengo fans are unique. I can't wait to play at the Maracana."

Flamengo are currently third in Brazil's 20-team Serie A standings with five wins from nine matches, eight points behind leaders Palmeiras.


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