Soccer

Barcelona to send Rafinha to Celta Vigo

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BARCELONA, Spain (AP)

Barcelona reached an agreement on Monday to send midfielder Rafinha to Celta Vigo for one season.

The 20-year-old Brazilian has come up through Barcelona's youth ranks since he was 13.

Rafinha holds dual nationality and has played for Spain in the under-16, U17 and U19 levels. But last year he switched to Brazil, where he played in its under-20 team at the 2013 South American Youth Championship in Argentina.

The attacking midfielder made his debut with Barcelona's senior team in November 2011, coming on for Cesc Fabregas.

Rafinha extended his contract with Barcelona until 2016 in June, just before being sent to Celta on loan.

Rafinha's older brother, midfielder Thiago Alcantara, who also came up through Barcelona's youth ranks, moved from the Spanish champions to Bayern Munich on Sunday to be reunited with coach Pep Guardiola.

Bayern agreed to pay 25 million euros ($32.75 million) for the 22-year-old Thiago, a son of Mazinho, who was a member of Brazil's 1994 World Cup champions.

Thiago helped Spain's under-21 team win the European championship last month, scoring a hat trick in the final against Italy. He was born in Italy to Brazilian parents and debuted for Barcelona's first team in 2008.



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