Brazilian full-back Rafinha will leave Bayern Munich at the end of the current season. - © 2017 DFL
Brazilian full-back Rafinha will leave Bayern Munich at the end of the current season. - © 2017 DFL

Rafinha bids tearful farewell to Bayern Munich

Long-serving Bayern Munich defender Rafinha made a tearful farewell to the club at an emotional press conference attended by Robert Lewandowski, Manuel Neuer, Franck Ribery and a number of other teammates on Tuesday.

Rafinha, 33, arrived at Bayern in 2011 after a season at Italian side Genoa, having previously spent five years at Schalke. During his eight-year stay in Munich he has so far won 16 trophies, including six Bundesliga titles, three DFB Cups and the UEFA Champions League in 2013.

The Brazilian-born right-back, who became a naturalised German citizen three years ago, held a press meeting at Bayern's Säbener Strasse complex to officially announce his departure from the club.

While such events are usually only attended by members of the media, this time Thomas Müller, David Alaba, Thiago, Javi Martinez and Renato Sanches joined Lewandowski, Neuer and Ribery in sitting in on proceedings.

Famed for his terrier-like displays in defence, Rafinha (r.) has made 179 Bundesliga outings in eight years at Bayern Munich. - GUENTER SCHIFFMANN/AFP/Getty Images

Neuer even wore a Bayern shirt with Rafinha's name on the back, while Ribery was moved to tears as his long-time teammate bid farewell to the club.

"I've had eight wonderful years here," said Rafinha, who has made 16 of his 332 Bundesliga appearances this season. "I've experienced a lot of fantastic moments at Bayern, especially doing the treble in 2013, but everything comes to an end at some point.

"My boys and I have been together for so long," he said, gesturing towards his colleagues with tears in his eyes. "David, Javi, Franck, Manuel, Thiago, Lewa, Renato. I think that's the hardest part. Not the last game or the titles but the friendships we have.

"That's why my mum told me to say thank you to everyone, to all the employees and all the players. They've been very important to me. Thank you very much. Thank you for everything and I hope we can finish this season with two more trophies. Thank you."

Rafinha (c.) has so far won 16 titles with Bayern. - imago/MIS

Bayern have two more games to add silverware to their collection this season: victory at home to Eintracht Frankfurt on Matchday 34 would ensure the side a seventh successive Bundesliga crown, while Niko Kovac's men meet RB Leipzig in the DFB Cup final in Berlin on 25 May.

Alongside Rafinha, fellow Bayern veterans Ribery (36) and Arjen Robben (35) will also depart the club at the end of the season.