Reading fans will be well aware of the heroics that our Brazilian stopper has performed between the posts in his first season at the Madejski.
But he is also receiving national praise for the part he has played in the Royals' rise up the table under manager Mark Bowen.
The Athletic's 'Not The Top 20' podcast has put together their Championship XI of the Season...so far. And the last line of defence is our 'Brazilian wall', Rafael.
"Perhaps it is not surprising that a player with three caps for Brazil and a Copa Libertadores winners’ medal would be the best goalkeeper in the Championship," their summary began.
"Despite a fallow period with Napoli and Sampdoria, his signing represented something of a coup for Reading. Getting to grips with the English language and style of football, he remained under the radar until mid-October.
"Since the appointment of Mark Bowen, Reading have conceded just 25 goals in 26 games, and Rafael’s performances have been truly remarkable — littered with highlight-reel saves.
"His high xG performance and save percentage back up the fact that this is a top-tier goalkeeper in the Championship."
You can find out the other ten players in their Championship Team of the Season and read the full article on The Athletic now. Or listen to the normally thrice weekly podcast to agree or disagree with their eleven? Hopefully we will see Rafael back in action and retain his place with more commanding performances in our final nine games of the current campaign.
Check out our Championship Team of the Season on @TheAthleticUK today.— Not The Top 20 Pod (@NTT20Pod) April 16, 2020
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We'll be discussing our selections (and any big omissions!) on today's Going Up, Going Down.
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