Rafinha has revealed that he is officially a citizen of Germany as of Tuesday. It is expected that this will also make him eligible to play for the German national team now, too.
The Brazilian has lived in Germany since a move in the summer of 2005 from Brazilian club Coritiba to Schalke 04. While he would spend the 2010-11 season in Genoa, he returned to Germany in 2011 with Bayern Munich. Rafinha never moved his family from Germany while he was in Italy.
"I've been in Germany for 10 years," Rafinha said. "I've wanted it a long time, for me and my family. I'm very happy in Germany."
Now that he officially has his German citizenship, he can apply to FIFA to play for the German national team. Most analysts believe that FIFA will grant Rafinha the ability to play with Germany, but there could be one thing standing in his way: Rafinha played in the 2005 U-20 World Cup for Brazil. However, most seem to believe that FIFA will grant Rafinha's request, if he makes it.
Having lived in Germany for a decade now, it would seem that Rafinha (like Wolfsburg's Naldo) is settled in German culture and sees his future in Deutschland rather than Brazil.