Rafa Soares joins PAOK
PAOK FC announces the acquisition of Rafa Soares from Vitoria Guimaraes. The Portuguese left-back has signed a contract with the Double-headed Eagle up until June 30, 2025.
Rafa Soares was born on 09.05.1995 in Marco de Canavenses in the Porto area. He joined the Academy of Alpendorada and proved to be talented player. His journey in football seemed to be already written.
He joined the legendary academies of Porto. He played in all of the developmental age groups of the Dragons, as well as with the Under-19s in the UEFA Youth League, before reaching the second team. He made his professional debut in the second division in August 2013, while he was also capped at international level with all of his country’s youth teams, playing in 2015 Under-20 World Championship.
After two full seasons in the second division with Porto B, in January 2016 he was loaned to Akademica, with whom he played his first 15 games in the top flight.
The following season he wore the Rio Ave jersey, again on loan. There he found space to let his playing virtues shine, and he immediately became a key player, closing out the season with 38 appearances, three goals and five assists.
He returned to Porto, but did not find a place in the squad, was loaned to Fulham, and from there he moved on to Portimonense. There he got the playing time he was looking for and when, in the summer of 2018, he was released from Porto, he was transferred to Vitoria Guimaraes.
In his first season he made 31 appearances and produced five assists, while in his second season in the first half of the campaign he recorded another 15 appearances with one assist before leaving for Spain. Eibar gave him the opportunity to test his abilities in La Liga, and Rafa did not miss the opportunity, joining on loan. He stayed in the team from the Basque country for 18 months, with a total record of 28 appearances.
Last season, Rafa was one of the top full-backs in the Portuguese league. He played in 34 games, scored two goals and served up eight assists in the most productive season of his career.
His contract with Vitoria came to an end, and PAOK opted to move to bring the player to the club to cover the left side of the team’s defense.