Rafinha sets new cup record

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Allow us to introduce you to Mr. DFB Cup. You may know him though as Rafinha, and thanks to the 1-0 win at SV Drochtersen/Assel he is now the holder of a special record. The Brazilian has now gone 30 cup matches without defeat for Bayern and Schalke. It surpasses the previous record set by former FCB man Norbert Nachtweih (29 consecutive games unbeaten) during the 1980s.

“I’m thrilled with the record,” the new holder grinned after the final whistle, “but most of all I’m pleased with the win. The cup is a knockout competition, so it was hugely important.” The full-back knows that his record-setting victory was a hard earned one. The fourth-division team defended with everything they had, and Bayern found the going tough.

Fully committed to the win

“The opposition did really well and the temperature was really demanding. The pitch also wasn’t great, so the ball didn’t move too well,” the 32-year-old added. However, “that’s normal in the cup,” continued the expert defender, who took on the challenge with his teammates. Putting in a committed performance, he desperately wanted to win the game.

Rafinha had the fourth-most touches of the ball (117) and played the second-most passes in the opposition half (83) after Thiago (109), with over 95 per cent of them finding their intended target. He would constantly overlap winger Franck Ribery looking to add to the attack. A vast number of Bayern’s attacks came down his left wing.

Extend the record

That was again the case in the 81st minute when Rafinha sent his French partner-in-crime away down the flank. Ribery burst past his opponents and laid the ball back to Leon Goretzka, whose shot on goal was turned past the goalkeeper by Robert Lewandowski for the only goal of the game. “Thankfully we won and are now into the second round,” said a pleased Rafinha after the game.

It means Bayern’s No.13 has the chance to put some distance between himself and any potential pursuers of his record. “I hope there’s more to come. I want to extend the record,” he said with a look forward to the next round, which will be played on 30/31 October. Bayern will learn their opponents when the draw for the second round is made on 26 August, and they should beware our very own Mr. DFB Cup.

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