Rafael "Rafa" Alexandre Fernandes Ferreira da Silva ComM (Portuguese pronunciation: [ˈʁafɐ ˈsiɫvɐ]; born 17 May 1993) is a Portuguese footballer who plays as an attacking midfielder or winger for Benfica.

Rafa Silva
Rafa Silva 2020.png
Silva with Benfica in 2020
Personal information
Full name Rafael Alexandre Fernandes Ferreira da Silva
Date of birth (1993-05-17) 17 May 1993 (age 29)
Place of birth Vila Franca de Xira, Portugal
Height 1.72 m (5 ft 8 in)[1]
Position(s) Attacking midfielder, winger
Club information
Current team
Benfica
Number 27
Youth career
2002–2003 Povoense
2003–2011 Alverca
2011–2012 Feirense
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2012–2013 Feirense 41 (10)
2013–2016 Braga 88 (13)
2014 Braga B 1 (0)
2016– Benfica 156 (46)
National team
2013 Portugal U20 2 (0)
2013–2015 Portugal U21 13 (3)
2014–2021 Portugal 25 (0)
*Club domestic league appearances and goals, correct as of 23:34, 1 October 2022 (UTC)
‡ National team caps and goals, correct as of 19:00, 4 September 2021 (UTC)

After starting his professional career at Feirense, he transferred to Braga in 2013 and went on to make 127 appearances for them, scoring 26 goals winning the Taça de Portugal in 2016. He joined Benfica that year for €16.4 million, winning two Primeira Liga championships and another cup during his spell.

A full international from 2014 to 2021, Silva represented Portugal on 25 occasions. He was selected for the 2014 FIFA World Cup, UEFA Euro 2016, the 2019 UEFA Nations League Finals and UEFA Euro 2020, winning the 2016 and 2019 tournaments.

Club careerEdit

FeirenseEdit

Born in Vila Franca de Xira, Silva grew up in Forte da Casa and started playing football with U.A. Povoense and F.C. Alverca, both in the Lisbon District.[2] In 2011, aged 18, he signed with C.D. Feirense with which he played his last year as a junior.

Silva made his professional debut on 29 July 2012, playing the full 90 minutes in a 2–1 home win against F.C. Penafiel for the season's Taça da Liga.[3] He only missed one game in the league campaign, totalling more than 3,200 minutes of action to help his team finish 13th in the Segunda Liga.[4][5]

BragaEdit

In June 2013, Silva signed a five-year contract with S.C. Braga for an undisclosed fee.[6] On 10 November he scored his first goals, striking twice in a 3–1 win at S.C. Olhanense in the fourth round of the Taça de Portugal;[7] nineteen days later he scored for the first time in the league, in a 4–1 home win over the same opposition.[8] He finished his first year with 23 appearances and three goals[9] to help to a ninth-place finish.

The following season, Silva was ever-present in the league, starting all but one game. He scored three times in the 2014–15 Taça de Portugal, including one in the final which they lost in a penalty shootout to Sporting CP at the Estádio Nacional on 31 May 2015.[10]

Silva scored the only goal on his UEFA Europa League debut on 17 September 2015 to defeat FC Slovan Liberec away,[11] and added two further goals in a run to the quarter-finals. After a 2015–16 season in which Braga won the cup final against FC Porto, he was coveted by S.L. Benfica.[12]

BenficaEdit

On 1 September 2016, defending champions Benfica announced that Silva had signed a five-year contract with the club, in a deal totalling €16.4 million. His release clause was set at €60 million.[13][14] He made his debut eight days later, starting in a 2–1 win at F.C. Arouca.[15]

In his 14th game, on 22 January 2017, as a late substitute for Kostas Mitroglou, Silva scored his first goal for the team in a 4–0 win over C.D. Tondela at the Estádio da Luz.[16] In that season, he also played seven minutes in the final of the domestic cup, won after defeating Vitória de Guimarães 2–1.[17]

Silva scored his ninth league goal of 2018–19 on 2 March 2019, in a 2–1 away victory against Porto; Benfica leapfrogged the opposition and took first place with ten rounds remaining.[18][19] He ended the season with a career-best 17 league goals, bettered only by teammate Haris Seferovic (23 goals) and Bruno Fernandes (20) in the whole division.[20] After the season ended, his contract was renewed until 2024 and its buyout clause increased to €80 million.[21]

On 4 August 2019, Silva scored the opening goal of a 5–0 win for Benfica in the 2019 Supertaça Cândido de Oliveira, against city rivals Sporting at the Estádio Algarve.[22] The following 17 January, days after returning from a three-month injury,[23] he scored both goals in a win away to the same team.[24]

International careerEdit

Silva made his first appearance for the Portugal under-20 team on 23 April 2013, against Uzbekistan.[25] He was not selected to that year's FIFA U-20 World Cup.

On 28 February 2014, Silva received his first callup for the senior side, for an exhibition game with Cameroon on 5 March.[26] He played the first 45 minutes of the game, in a 5–1 win in Leiria.[27] On 19 May, he was named in the final 23-man squad for the 2014 FIFA World Cup,[28] remaining unused in Brazil as his team were knocked out in the group stage.

After scoring in both games against Azerbaijan in qualification,[29][30] Silva was part of the under-21 team that finished as runners-up at the 2015 UEFA European Championship in the Czech Republic.[31] He returned to the full side for UEFA Euro 2016,[32] making his only appearance in the competition on 18 June by coming on as an 89th-minute substitute for Nani in a 0–0 draw with Austria at the Parc des Princes.[33]

Silva missed over two years of international football from September 2016 to October 2018, returning against Poland in the UEFA Nations League; he was selected for the final tournament on home soil where he played the final 15 minutes of the 1–0 win over the Netherlands. At UEFA Euro 2020, delayed to 2021, he played two group games off the bench, winning a penalty and assisting Cristiano Ronaldo in a 3–0 win over Hungary.[34]

On 19 September 2022, Silva announced his retirement from international football, citing personal reasons.[35]

Career statisticsEdit

ClubEdit

As of match played 1 October 2022.[36][37]
Club Season League National Cup League Cup Continental Other Total
Division Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Feirense 2012–13 Segunda Liga 41 10 2 1 4 0 47 11
Braga 2013–14 Primeira Liga 23 3 5 4 4 2 0 0 32 9
2014–15 34 2 6 3 3 0 43 5
2015–16 30 8 5 0 3 1 12 3 50 12
2016–17 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1[a] 0 2 0
Total 88 13 16 7 10 3 12 3 1 0 127 26
Benfica 2016–17 Primeira Liga 20 2 4 0 4 0 3 0 0 0 31 2
2017–18 20 3 2 0 2 0 1 0 0 0 25 3
2018–19 26 17 4 2 2 2 12 0 44 21
2019–20 25 7 4 1 1 0 5 2 1[a] 1 36 11
2020–21 29 5 5 1 2 0 8 3 1[a] 0 45 9
2021–22 28 8 2 1 2 0 13 3 45 12
2022–23 8 4 0 0 0 0 6 2 14 6
Total 156 46 21 5 13 2 48 10 2 1 240 64
Career total 285 68 39 13 27 5 60 13 3 1 414 101

Notes

InternationalEdit

As of match played 4 September 2021.[38][39]
Portugal
Year Apps Goals
2014 3 0
2015 2 0
2016 5 0
2018 3 0
2019 4 0
2020 1 0
2021 7 0
Total 25 0

HonoursEdit

ClubEdit

Braga[37]

Benfica[37]

InternationalEdit

Portugal[37]

OrdersEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Rafa Silva". S.L. Benfica. Retrieved 12 August 2022.
  2. ^ "Rafa Silva, o miúdo frágil que fez da inteligência a sua arma". www.dn.pt (in European Portuguese). Retrieved 13 December 2021.
  3. ^ "Feirense bate Penafiel (2–1)" [Feirense beat Penafiel (2–1)]. Record (in Portuguese). 29 July 2012. Retrieved 4 January 2018.
  4. ^ "Feirense-Freamunde, 3–1: Pires carimbou a vitória" [Feirense-Freamunde, 3–1: Pires sealed win]. Record (in Portuguese). 28 April 2013. Retrieved 4 January 2018.
  5. ^ ""Doidos" por Rafa" ["Crazy" about Rafa]. Record (in Portuguese). 2 July 2013. Retrieved 3 October 2013.
  6. ^ "Rafa até 2018" [Rafa until 2018]. Record (in Portuguese). 21 June 2013. Archived from the original on 26 September 2013. Retrieved 25 September 2013.
  7. ^ Rodrigues, Hugo (10 November 2013). "Olhanense perde com o Braga e sai da Taça de Portugal" [Olhanense lose to Braga and exit Portuguese Cup] (in Portuguese). Sul Informação. Retrieved 23 March 2016.
  8. ^ "Primeira Liga: Braga 4 Olhanense 1". FourFourTwo. 29 November 2013. Retrieved 23 March 2016.
  9. ^ "Jackson Martínez y Felipe Pardo, figuras en la Liga de Portugal" [Jackson Martínez and Felipe Pardo, figures in the Portuguese League]. El Tiempo (in Spanish). 9 February 2014. Retrieved 23 March 2016.
  10. ^ "Sporting beats Braga on penalties to win Portuguese Cup". Yahoo! News. 31 May 2015. Retrieved 23 March 2016.
  11. ^ "Braga edge out in-form Liberec". UEFA. 17 September 2015. Retrieved 16 June 2016.
  12. ^ "Benfica aperta para fechar Rafa ainda antes do Europeu" [Benfica close in on Rafa before the Euro]. O Jogo (in Portuguese). 26 May 2016. Retrieved 16 June 2016.
  13. ^ "SL Benfica sign Rafa from SC Braga". S.L. Benfica. 1 September 2016. Retrieved 2 September 2016.
  14. ^ "Comunicado" [Announcement]. S.L. Benfica (in Portuguese). 1 September 2016. Retrieved 2 September 2016.
  15. ^ "Benfica vence em Arouca em dia de estreia de Rafa" [Benfica win in Arouca on Rafa's debut]. SAPO Desporto (in Portuguese). 9 September 2016. Retrieved 20 February 2017.
  16. ^ "Rafa Silva estreia-se a marcar pelas Águias" [Rafa Silva scores maiden goal for Eagles]. Record (in Portuguese). 22 January 2017. Retrieved 20 February 2017.
  17. ^ "Oito minutos à Benfica garantiram a 11.ª dobradinha" [Eight Benfica-like minutes confirmed 11th double]. Diário de Notícias (in Portuguese). 28 May 2017. Retrieved 6 May 2018.
  18. ^ "Rafa winner gives Benfica the edge in title-scented Clássico". PortuGOAL. 2 March 2019. Retrieved 4 March 2019.
  19. ^ "Benfica: os números de Rafa na noite em que bateu um recorde pessoal" [Rafa's numbers on the night he broke a personal record]. Maisfutebol (in Portuguese). 3 March 2019. Retrieved 4 March 2019.
  20. ^ "Goleadores: Seferovic é o melhor marcador da Liga" [Goalscorers: Seferovic is the league's top scorer]. Maisfutebol (in Portuguese). 18 May 2019. Retrieved 7 November 2019.
  21. ^ "Rafa Silva renova até 2024 e fica blindado por 80 milhões de euros" [Rafa Silva renews until 2024 and is shielded for 80 million euros]. Diário de Notícias (in Portuguese). 12 June 2019. Retrieved 21 September 2022.
  22. ^ "Benfica Super Cup win". The Portugal News. 5 August 2019. Retrieved 7 November 2019.
  23. ^ "Rafa confirmado nos convocados do Benfica. Vlachodimos e Gabriel ficam de fora" [Rafa confirmed in Benfica's squad. Vlachodimos and Gabriel end up out]. Observador (in Portuguese). 14 January 2020. Retrieved 21 September 2022.
  24. ^ Ribeiro, Patrick (17 January 2020). "Derby win sets Benfica seven points clear after Braga down FC Porto". PortuGOAL. Retrieved 21 September 2022.
  25. ^ "Seleção de sub-20 perde diante do Uzbequistão" [Under-20 national team lose against Uzbekistan] (in Portuguese). SAPO Desporto. 23 April 2013. Retrieved 1 October 2018.
  26. ^ "Rafa e Ivan Cavaleiro convocados para jogo da selecção com os Camarões" [Rafa and Ivan Cavaleiro called for national team game with Cameroon]. Público (in Portuguese). 28 February 2014. Retrieved 3 March 2014.
  27. ^ "Ronaldo reaches new milestone in Portugal win". UEFA. 5 March 2014. Retrieved 5 March 2014.
  28. ^ "Paulo Bento announces Portugal's 23-man World Cup squad". PortuGOAL. 19 May 2014. Archived from the original on 31 May 2014. Retrieved 20 May 2014.
  29. ^ "Portugal press on with Azerbaijan win". UEFA. 15 October 2013. Retrieved 25 March 2016.
  30. ^ "Portugal end group in perfect fashion". UEFA. 9 September 2014. Retrieved 25 March 2016.
  31. ^ Kell, Tom (30 June 2015). "Spot-on Sweden beat Portugal to win U21 EURO". UEFA. Retrieved 25 March 2016.
  32. ^ "Portugal name Bayern Munich signing Renato Sanches for Euros squad". ESPN FC. 17 May 2016. Retrieved 18 June 2016.
  33. ^ "Austria hold on after Ronaldo penalty miss". UEFA. 18 June 2016. Retrieved 19 June 2016.
  34. ^ Roseiro, Bruno (19 September 2022). "Estreia aos 20 anos, presença nas duas conquistas e a notícia que mudou tudo: os oito anos e meio de Rafa na Seleção" [Debut aged 20, presence in two conquests and the news that changed everything: the eight-and-a-half years of Rafa in the national team]. Observador (in Portuguese). Retrieved 21 September 2022.
  35. ^ "Rafa anuncia adeus à Seleção Nacional: conheça os motivos da decisão" [Rafa announces farewell to National Team: know the motives for the decision]. Record (in Portuguese). 19 September 2022. Retrieved 20 September 2022.
  36. ^ Rafa Silva at ForaDeJogo (archived). Retrieved 1 December 2018.  
  37. ^ a b c d Rafa Silva at Soccerway. Retrieved 10 September 2019.  
  38. ^ "Rafa Silva". European Football. Retrieved 15 June 2021.
  39. ^ "Rafa Silva". National Football Teams. Benjamin Strack-Zimmermann. Retrieved 26 June 2021.
  40. ^ "Seleção recebe insígnias de Marcelo no Porto" [National team receives insignia from Marcelo in Porto]. Diário de Notícias (in Portuguese). 25 August 2016. Retrieved 11 August 2017.

External linksEdit