Rafael: Napoli is a world-leading Club

Rafael: Napoli is a world-leading Club

Notizie | 18/07/2013

The Brazilian goalkeeper: I am here to fight to be in the regular line-up, I am young but I already have experience

"Napoli is a world-leading Club, I am here to fight for a place in the regular line-up." In his first press conference in Dimaro, Rafael shows all his personality and determination. The Brazilian goalkeeper knows exactly what he wants and speaks out his satisfaction with the jersey he is going to wear soon...

"I chose Napoli because this is a great team and also in Brazil it is known as one of the world's best clubs. Besides, Benitez wanted me here, he is a un important manager. I have arrived in a team that is going to fight both for the Serie A title and for the Champions League. It was the right moment for me to measure myself with such a prestigious championship, I am young and I want to grow a lot with this team."

What did Benitez tell you? "Benitez knows my qualities. He saw me many times with Santos and he picked me because of my characteristics. He told me to be patient and to continue to interprete my role as I have been doing. Then he will decide who is going to play, I have just to work hard."

Is it true that you are a specialist of penalty kicks? "Yes, I blocked many. I have got a specific technique, I move a lot along the line to close the goal's view to the shooter. I often got it right. I am pretty good with foot too, a quality that Benitez appreciates since he wants that the goalkeeper actively takes part in the action. In modern football this is useful, because the goalkeeper can give an alternative when the game is closed."

What are you expecting from this new experience? "For me Napoli is a great opportunity, also thinking of the World Cup in Brazil. I am part of a strong team that can give me satisfactions and exposure. I have noticed that this group is really tight and everybody received me very well. I am sure that we will be competitive."

You are 23. Do you feel ready for Italian football? "I have matured quickly. I started playing for the first team when I was very young, so I have been playing may matches. I have got the right amount of experience to play in Europe."

Are you afraid of Italian forwards? "I respect all of them, but I am not afraid of anybody. I know that in Italy there are many great strikers, I study their characteristics a lot and I am ready to compete against them. As a kid I wanted to play as a forward, but then they chose this role for me and I was good at it. So I decided that I would become a goalkeeper." 

Do you know the San Paolo stadium and the atmosphere that you will find there? "I know that fans are like a twelfth player and this is a strong motivation for me. In Brazil I played in a stadium with 100,000 fans and for me it is not a pressure, in fact I love huge stadiums. Napoli is a world-leading team, I have not known the city yet, but I was told that there is an extraordinary passion for us and I think it will be the ideal place for me."

 Rafael with Uvini, who helped as his interpreter.