Birth date 13 Apr 1986 (33 years)
Nationality Brazil Brazil
Position Midfielder
Nickname Toro
Team history
Esporte Clube Bahia 2013 - present
Figueirense Futebol Clube 2012 (loan)
Clube Atletico Mineiro 2011 - 2012
Flamengo 2006 - 2010
Fluminense 2005

Rafael Ferreira Francisco, also known as Toro, is a professional football player from Brazil who plays as a midfielder. In 2004, Toro became famous for his fantastic scoring ability at Futsal, something that got him his nickname, which means “Storm” in Portuguese. He was considered as the next big thing to hit the Fluminense youth system but when he made his debut for the first team, the following season, things didn’t go so well.

He played just 4 games and even though Toro scored a goal, he was told that he wasn’t good enough to make the grade as a professional player for Fluminense. He moved to Flamengo in 2006, a club that was still hoping that the first year in professional football was just a matter of nerves for this talented youngster.

He wasn’t any good here either and was put on the reserves bench, with no hope in front. However, there came an opening in the form of playing in a defensive midfielder’s role in the Copa do Brasil finals in 2006 and Toro grabbed it with both hands. He became a regular for the Flamengo first team, playing in a defensive role to support his teammates. He ended up helping Flamengo win the Taca Guanabara title in 2007 and 2008, the Taca Rio title in 2008, the 2007, 08 and 09 state league title as well as the 2009 Serie A title.

Toro was a regular player in the team, playing over 90 games for the club in the league and scoring four goals before moving onto Atletico Mineiro in 2010. After failing to recreate the form of his Flamengo days, Toro was sent out on loan to Figueirense, after just 9 games with Atletico. For 2012, Toro will be a part of the Figueirense line-up, looking to make amends for lost opportunities.