Rafinha Alcántara was one of the positives from the blaugranes’ visit to the RCDE Stadium. Barça lost out to the only goal of the game against Espanyol in the first leg of their Copa del Rey quarter-final tie with Rafinha playing the final 12 minutes. The Brazilian international came on in the 78th minute to replace Denis Suárez, making his first appearance of the season for FC Barcelona.
Rafinha had not played since injuring his knee away from home against Granada in the league on 2 April 2017. 290 days later the midfielder has returned to action after a tough 9 month recovery period in which he gave his all to be back from injury as quickly as possible. The Brazilian was finally given the medical all clear in December before finally making his long awaited return to action in the defeat on 17 January which leaves Barça looking forward to a comeback in the second leg next Thursday at Camp Nou.