Rafinha: I'm a winner, I win everything
FC Bayern against FC Schalke: the 100th Bundesliga duel between the two clubs is the top match on Bundesliga Matchday 19. Former Bayern and Schalke pro Rafinha dropped by the Säbener Strasse before the match at the Allianz Arena.
Rafinha made 266 competitive appearances for the German record champions, winning an impressive 18 titles in his eight years in Munich. The highlight was the treble in 2013. The 34-year-old right-back talked about his return, Saturday's match and a special honour before the duel between his ex-clubs.
Rafa, welcome back at FC Bayern. How does it feel to be back for the first time since your farewell last summer?
It brings back good memories. I had nice moments and won so many titles in my eight years here. I'm very glad to be here again. It's my second home!
Have you seen your former colleagues?
Yes, I'm still in touch with everyone. We always had a lot of fun in the dressing room, the atmosphere was always good. And I see the atmosphere is very good now, that's fantastic.
Do you still follow FC Bayern's matches?
Absolutely, I watch the Bundesliga every Saturday. The matches start at 10.30 because of the time difference. I can watch the Bundesliga because in Brazil we always play in the evenings. I don't only follow FC Bayern's matches but all of them. But especially FC Bayern, that's my club.
Your two former clubs Bayern and Schalke face off in the top match on Saturday. Where will you watch the match?
I'll be at the stadium of course. I played for both clubs, five and a half years at Schalke and eight at Bayern. I'm looking forward to going back to the Allianz Arena and saying hello to the Bayern fans. And of course I'm keeping my fingers crossed that the three points stay in Munich.
Bayern have lost none of their last 19 competitive matches against Schalke. Does that mean Bayern are favourites?
Bayern are always favourites, Bayern must win every match. But Schalke too are a big club in Germany. The encounters were always top matches. If you win these matches it gives you confidence for the next few, it boosts your morale. I hope it'll go on like that, if so it'll be 20 in a row.
Bayern got off to a good start to the second half, beating Hertha Berlin. But they are still four points adrift of top spot. Do you think your former colleagues can catch up as they did last year?
Sure, absolutely. It was a very good start. A 4-0 win – it doesn't get any better. It was a very good sign for the Bundesliga. And I hope Bayern will be back in top spot soon. Everyone knows that when Bayern set off on a winning run, they're difficult to stop.
You won the Champions League with Bayern, and in November you won the Copa Libertadores with your current club Flamengo. You've joined the likes of Neymar, Ronaldinho and Cafu, who achieved the same feat. How proud does it make you?
(Beaming) It means a lot to me to be counted among such great players! The lads here told me: 'Rafa, you've won everything in Europe, and now you're in South America and are winning everything again." It's good for me. In the short time, only five months, I won everything. The Brazilian championship, which is very difficult too, and the Copa Libertadores. Flamengo hadn't won it for almost 40 years. I'm a winner, I win everything. (Laughing) I'm glad.
Bayern coach Hansi Flick talked about the duel with Schalke in Friday's press talk. His most important statements 👇🏻