Rafinha, until 2014 / PHOTO: ARXIU FCB

FC Barcelona has reached an agreement with Rafael Alcántara do Nascimento, ‘Rafinha,’ to renew his contract until the 2013/14 season. His buyout clause is 12 million euros until the 2012/13 season and will jump to 30 million euros in 2013/14.

Rafinha will sign the new contract next Monday.

Stellar trajectory

Rafa Alcántara is currently in his sixth season at FC Barcelona after arriving from Celta de Vigo with his brother, Thiago.

Born in Sao Paulo, he started playing football in the Flamengo youth squad. After his father signed for Valencia, the Alcántara family moved to the Mediterranean Spanish city, and finally to Vigo. Once in Vigo, Rafinha, 13 years old, started training with Celta’s youth squad before making the move to FC Barcelona’s Infantil A youth team.

From the moment he started playing for Barça his ascent through youth squads was fast and seemingly unstoppable. Rafinha was the key player in Óscar García Junyent’s U-17 squad’s treble 2010/11 season. Luis Enrique, Barça B coach at the time, noticed the young Brazilian’s quality immediately, and named him to the Barça B team that same year. Rafinha played a couple of games under Luis Enrique during Barça B’s stellar third-place finish season in Segunda Division. Rafinha played a total of nine games with the reserve side that season (2010/2011), scoring his first goal for the squad against Salamanca.

The younger Alcántara’s quality and performance doesn’t surprise Guardiola. The Barça  manager has called on Rafinha multiple times to train with the first squad. On November 9th, Rafinha made his debut for the first team in the round of 36 of the King’s Cup against L’Hospitalet.

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