The Sevilla FC striker was one of the sensations of last season and has one of the most interesting stories in LaLiga Santander: he was a youth player at FC Barcelona’s academy, a Valencia CF player, and is SD Huesca’s all-time top scorer in LaLiga Santander.
After a successful season with SD Huesca and fresh from winning a silver medal with Spain at the Tokyo Olympics, Rafa Mir arrived at Sevilla FC this summer with the intention of continuing to take LaLiga Santander by storm. After three seasons away from parent club Wolverhampton Wanderers on loan, Sevilla swooped to give him a new permanent home. Mir, who is set to play his first El Gran Derbi this weekend, has quickly established himself as a starter in Julen Lopetegui’s side, scoring four goals already this season.
- Born in Cartagena, Rafa got his start with a ball at his feet at the futsal club ‘Jabalí Nuevo’. At the age of just nine he joined the ‘El Pozo Murcia’ youth academy, one of the best futsal academies in the world. At U10 level he scored an incredible 136 goals in a single season, a feat he achieved in ‘El Legado’, a subsidiary team of ‘El Pozo Murcia’ futsal.
- Soon he decided to change the sport hall for the grass field, and at the age of 12 he joined FC Barcelona’s youth academy. After two seasons at La Masia, he decided to return home to play in local side Real Murcia’s youth academy, where he spent one season.
- In fact, Rafa has played for several of Spain’s most historic clubs at youth level. After his time at Real Murcia, he signed for Valencia CF, where he stayed from 2012 until 2018. In the 2016/17 season he made his debut with the Valencia first team in LaLiga Santander, appearing in two games.
- Last season was the Cartagena-born attacker’s year of consolidation in the Spanish top flight. Mir played in all 38 regular season matches and scored 13 goals for SD Huesca, becoming the club’s all-time top scorer in LaLiga Santander.
- As the popular saying goes, “like father, like son,” and football runs in the Mir family. His father, Magín Mir, was a professional footballer and even made his debut in LaLiga Santander with Albacete BP. However, he played in a very different role to his son on the pitch: he was a powerful central defender.