Without playing a match for over a year, Rafael Papagaio performs a pre-season period on the premises of the Football Academy. This Saturday, while the cast commanded by Abel Ferreira trained to defend Palmeiras against Fortaleza, the striker, still with an uncertain future, worked in the field next door.
Finally released after 14 months of punishment for doping, Papagaio did a physical training with the ball next to Henri, defender of the U-20 team that is recovering from injury in his left knee. One of the photos published by Palmeiras shows the striker alongside soccer manager Cícero Souza and technical assistant Carlos Martinho.
In October 2019, during a loan period with Atlético-MG, Papagaio tested positive for hydrochlorothiazide, a banned diuretic. Shortly after, the striker went to Goiás, the club he defended in his last game as a professional, in November.
Formed in the grassroots categories, Papagaio played alongside names like Gabriel Menino, Patrick de Paula and Lucas Esteves, all of whom were featured in the main squad this season. Linked to Palmeiras until the end of 2023, the striker played for the professional team in 2018 and even scored.
Unable to attend the Soccer Academy because of punishment for doping, Papagaio performed physical preparation, nutrition and physiotherapy activities on his own. During the period of removal, he was the father of Manuela, the result of his relationship with his wife Letícia.
Without Papagaio, Abel Ferreira prepares his team to compete in the 36th round of the Brazilian Championship. At 18h15 (Brasília) this Sunday, probably with an alternative formation, Palmeiras will take the field to face Fortaleza, at Allianz Parque.
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