Rafinha at Thursday's press conference at the Ciutat Esportiva Joan Gamper / PHOTO: MIGUEL RUIZ-FCB

Rafinha Alcántara came back to the Club this summer and after starting the first two league games against Elche and Villarreal he expressed his surprise and happiness at Thursday’s press conference to have enjoyed so many minutes on the pitch, whilst admitting: “I know I can do better and give more. It’s hard to play for Barça and you always have to try and attempt to improve”.

 I know I can do better and give more

Rafinha was back in training with the rest of the squad on Thursday morning as the players began preparation for Saturday’s game against Bilbao: “we know that they are a very strong side, who press a lot and never give a ball up for lost”. Competition isn’t just tough in La Liga, it’s tough within the team for a starting spot and the Brazilian conceded: “I see the competition as a great way to learn and it’s a luxury to have these teammates to learn from”. In Luis Enrique, Rafinha also has a teacher he’s familiar with, after playing under him at Celta last season and he explained: “having spent a year with him and knowing how he works has been a real help for me. The rest of the players are gradually assimilating his ideas. He knows the all well”.

 I see the competition as a great way to learn

The boss has so far shown his commitment to bringing through Barça B players into the first team and Rafinha, who himself played for the reserves, explained: “I’m really happy about it. I came from the B team and I think players who come up that way give everything and work hard to return the confidence that the boss has shown in them. It’s really important for all of us who have come through the system like that”.