Ex-Bayern Munich defender Rafinha seeking Coritiba swan song

Veteran Flamengo right-back Rafinha
Veteran Flamengo right-back Rafinha

Veteran Flamengo right-back Rafinha has expressed the desire to finish his career at his first club, Coritiba.

The 34-year-old is tied to Flamengo until December 2021 and admits he is unlikely to extend his deal with the Rio de Janeiro club.

“I have great affection for Coritiba, the club that opened the doors for me,” Rafinha said in a virtual news conference. “I started there in the youth teams and I’ve always said that I want to end my career there, if they want me, of course.”

“My time at Flamengo has been wonderful so far but my plan is to finish there and repay the club for what they did for me.”

Coritiba, with whom Rafinha made his professional debut in 2002, will return to Brazil’s top flight this year, having finished third in the 2019 Serie B.

The defender joined Flamengo last July after ending his eight-year spell at Bayern Munich. He made 30 appearances in his first six months in Rio, helping the club to the Brazilian Serie A and Copa Libertadores double.

“Flamengo have made an impact on my life already, regardless if I leave here tomorrow. The club is already in my heart and no one can erase it,” he added.

Brazil’s Serie A championship is expected to start on August 8, three months later than originally planned.

All of the country’s football competitions were halted in mid-March as part of efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19.

Rio de Janeiro’s Carioca championship became the first state league to resume when Flamengo beat Bangu 3-0 at the Maracana stadium on June 18.

Brazil has over 1.5 million confirmed coronavirus cases, more than 63,000 of which have been fatal. Enditem

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