Rafael had to be substituted in the first half of the victory of the Botafogo 1-0 over São Paulo, last Sunday, for the Brazilian Championship, due to a muscle problem. The club avoids giving details about injuries, but marçal said that the situation is not serious.
– Tomorrow (this Wednesday) there is a meeting here at home, he will come. Let’s see if we can catch him and say a strong prayer (laughs). I can’t talk about Rafa’s injury, I won’t say I don’t know. It was nothing serious, he will play this season. We are happy because it was nothing too serious. Rafael is really a little unlucky. Against Fortaleza he was the best on the field until the injury, in a tackle he won, Galhardo makes a move backwards and ends up sinking a part that he had already injured. Thank God it was better than we imagined, because when we saw it we believed we could take him out of the championship. He had surgery through the mouth, left no scar, came back quickly. Now he had a little muscle problem, but also because of the amount of time he was stopped, games one after the other, heavy field against Avaí, then São Paulo playing a lot on the right side. So his injury is understandable. He has a good mind, we exchange ideas, he is fine, more relaxed, the result was better than he expected – revealed Marçal, in an interview with the podcast “Na Barreira”.
The friendship between the sides was born a long time ago. Marçal told the story.
– Rafael at the time was the longest-serving Brazilian at Lyon. I think it was just him. Marcelo and I arrived. Rafael received me very well, his family is very dear, their children are also the same age as mine, they always played together, his wife is also very dear. A friendship was formed. He’s a very humble guy, despite his trajectory in football, he went to Manchester United early, he was world champion, in the Premier League, he’s too humble for what he’s achieved. It’s a cool relationship we have, a nice friendship – he explained.
The partnership was not the key factor, but it helped Marçal arrive at Botafogo.
– Weight certainly had, because of that friendship. But in terms of direct contact or that midfielder ended up not having it. He knew when he was very close, getting details right. Then he called me, we started talking, I got information about the club. He had weight because he knew he was going to find a brother here, he could help us a lot. This presence of Rafa was essential for us to close with Botafogo – said the left-back.
– It was a difficult decision, there were many factors, some pros, others against, but without a doubt the desire to play Brazilian football, to take advantage of the opportunity of Botafogo becoming SAF, a different project than it had before, helped us a lot to take the decision. We talked about Rafa’s weight, my wife has family in Rio, it all came together, calling, and it worked. Suddenly it’s time to go back. Botafogo offered a long contract, two and a half years, in Europe they offered one year. As much as moving to Europe was a short move, one year of contract does not give stability, Botafogo’s two and a half year contract helped to make the decision, because we knew that we could settle down, leave the children for a while at school, stay in running with suitcase to one side and the other is complicated. They were determining factors – he added.