After a successful season with Huesca and fresh from winning a silver medal with Spain at the Tokyo Olympics, Rafa Mir arrived at Sevilla 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 the 24-year-old 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, Mir 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 U-10 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 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, Mir has played for several of Spain’s most historic clubs at youth level. After his time at Real Murcia, he signed for Valencia, 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 Huesca, becoming the club's all-time top scorer in LaLiga Santander.
Football runs in the Mir family. His father Magín was a professional footballer and made his debut in LaLiga Santander with Albacete. However, he played in a very different role to his son on the pitch: he was a powerful central defender.
Watch LaLiga Santander live this weekend on your local broadcasters.