Barcelona midfielder Rafinha says opting to pledge his international future to Brazil over Spain was an easy decision to make.
Rafinha, 22, has spent the last nine years of his life in Spain – but playing for them was never an option.
Instead, the midfielder, along with Liverpool’s Philippe Coutinho were added to Brazil’s squad for the friendlies against Costa Rica on September 5 and United States three days later.
Rafinha was born in Sao Paulo but has lived in Barcelona since the age of 13, while older brother and five-time international Thiago plays for Spain, but he insists his international allegiance was never in doubt ahead of his first appearance for Brazil.
“The choice between Brazil and Spain was the easiest decision I’ve made in my life. I’m Brazilian, 100 per cent Brazilian,” said Rafinha.
“I went with my heart and chose Brazil. When you follow your heart, your dreams come true.
“My Dad and I always tried to convince Thiago to play for Brazil, but unfortunately it didn’t work. He got his call-up for Spain very early on,” he added.