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Right-back's century for FCB

Rafinha: We won't be knocked off course

The comeback of the week from a Bayern point of view was made by right-back Rafinha, who returned from a six-week lay-off to start the Manchester City clash and complete 85 minutes of the match. The Brazilian then played 61 minutes of Saturday's meeting with Hamburger SV, passing a personal milestone on the way: it was the 100th time he has featured for the Reds. “I'm definitely very proud," the 29-year-old told In our Sunday interview, the player discussed his comeback, the game in Hamburg and Tuesdays top of the table clash with promoted SC Paderborn.

Interview: Rafinha Rafinha, congratulations on reaching a century of appearances for FCB. Is it a special milestone for you?
Rafinha: Definitely, and I'm very proud of it. Making 100 appearances in a Bayern shirt is fantastic, as is being part of this magnificent club. I'm delighted and I hope there are a lot more games to come.

You returned from six weeks on the sidelines against Man City on Wednesday and you managed more than an hour against HSV on Saturday. How you feeling?
Very good, thank you. Fortunately I was able to continue training the whole time and wasn't forced to take a break, so I basically maintained my physical fitness. Obviously the physical burden in a match is much, much higher than in training, and the Man City clash was really intensive. You definitely notice a reaction from your body and there's a certain tiredness. But like I told you I'm feeling good, I'm completely over the injury and I'm ready to play when Pep needs me.

Were you surprised to start against Man City after only one squad training session?
No, I wasn't surprised. As soon as I’m fit enough for team training I'm ready to play, and I prepared myself mentally for it. And the coach knows he can rely on me.

The meeting with bottom club Hamburg finished 0-0. What were the reasons for that?
It wasn't the result we wanted because we went there looking for all three points. It was a tough match in which we had a lot of possession but never opened up the gaps we needed to create chances. HSV were not only under pressure, they had a new coach in the dugout. The players were very motivated and every man put himself forward. What's more, every team goes to the limit against Bayern because it's always their biggest game of the season. But we won't be knocked off course by the draw. We're headed in the right direction, and I'm certain it will be another successful season.

The next game is on Tuesday against promoted SC Paderborn. Are you surprised they’re so well-placed in the table?
No, because you don't get promoted to the Bundesliga unless you have the quality. They have good players and they're obviously working hard. It's an important match for us because we're at home, we obviously want a good performance, and we want to win in front of our own crowd. At the end of the day we want to go top of the table as soon as possible.

What kind of match are you expecting against Paderborn?
It's hard to say because I don't know how Paderborn will approach the match. I think we have an experienced and intelligent coach and he'll prepare us well for the game. We need to be looking at ourselves, focus hard and fulfil our potential.

The Oktoberfest started on Saturday. Any plans for a visit?
Friends from Brazil always visit at this time of year, but we have so many games right now I can't go along with them. We'll have our team and families’ day out at the Oktoberfest at some point and I know we’ll enjoy that, but we have a lot of work to do before then.