Transfer Centre

Sky Sports Scout - Rafael Cabral

We run the rule over Santos starlet Rafael

Sky Sports Scout is our exciting feature where we scour the globe looking out for the best talent and bring you a report on what we find.

Our Scout will report back and you can comment on what you think of our appraisal.

Scout Facts:

NAME: Rafael Cabral
AGE: 21 (20th May 1991)
BORN: Sao Paulo, Brazil
POSITION: Goalkeeper
CLUB: Santos
FACTS: Youngest keeper ever to win Copa Libertadores

Sky Sports Scout Ratings:

0-10 - No hoper
11-20 - Should look elsewhere
21-30 - Might not make it
31-40 - Has work to do
41-50 - Keep an eye on him
51-60 - Great prospect
61-70 - On his way to the top
71-80 - Already World-class

Also, in association with Football Manager, we give all readers the chance to win a copy of the latest game by nominating a player.

You can only nominate a player by emailing here, including the word 'Scout' in your subject line and please check to make sure we have not already covered the player.

Should your player get reviewed by our scout, and you were first to send in his name, then you will win a copy of Football Manager 2012.

You can also now interact with the scout via his all new Twitter feed! You can get in touch with him and interact here or just search for @skysportsscout!

Latest under our scout's gaze is Santos' Rafael - recommended by Sky Sports reader Ryan Campling.

The scout reports...

We check on yet another Brazilian starlet and another of the Santos squad, but this time we are looking at the man stopping the goals rather than scoring or creating them, that is goalkeeper Rafael.

Considered one of the best goalkeepers in South America, Rafael is forging a very good reputation for himself.

The 21-year-old is a graduate of Santos' own youth academy, which he joined aged 13 after spells with the likes of Sao Paulo, Bahia and Ituano.

Rafael progressed well through the youth system, but his progress was hampered when he broke his leg in a training ground accident which sidelined him for six months.

He was already a youth international when he was first called into Santos' first team and he showed up well during a clash with New York Red Bulls, when he came on at half-time and kept a clean-sheet.

He eventually made his senior debut in 2010 against Cruzeiro and again kept a clean-sheet and soon after he had won the number one jersey from Felipe.

At this time the first interest from Europe emerged with Sevilla showing an interest, but Santos held firm.

After a brilliant 2010, which saw Santos sweep to league and cup success, Rafael was becoming a huge fans favourite.

And in 2011 things only got better for Rafael as he helped Santos to their first Copa Libertadores crown in more than half-a-century, and he became the youngest ever goalkeeper to lift South America's top prize.

Now with over 100 senior games under his belt Rafael is emerging as a real top-class goalkeeper and a heir apparent to Julio Cesar's number one jersey - who he has been likened to.

At 6f 1in, Rafael is not a small keeper but his agility is his main asset, although his shot-stopping is brilliant at times with saving penalties becoming his trademark. In his young days he even used to point to the direction of the kick before saving it.

2012 has seen him called up to Brazil's senior squad and fresh interest from Europe with Palermo having a bid rejected.

The scout says...

Rafael has recently signed a bumper new contract to until 2014 and the trend in Brazil at the moment is for their best young players to stay put so he should remain for a while.

But if Rafael's progress continues, it remains to be seen if he will still be in Brazil by the time the World Cup comes to the country in 2014.

The Scout rating...

Handling: 7 out of 10

Kicking: 8 out of 10

Agility: 9 out of 10

Judgement: 7 out of 10

Positioning: 7 out of 10

Shots: 8 out of 10

Current ability: 7 out of 10

Potential ability: 10 out of 10


Current value: £8million

Potential value: £25million

Your opinion...

You have read our opinion of Rafael - now we want your views. Have you seen Rafael in action? Do you agree with our assessment? Do you think he will make it?

Get in touch, either using the form below, email or the scout's Twitter feed - @skysportsscout

And if you have spotted anyone you think we should feature then please get in touch using the same form. We will look to send out the Scout to follow up your leads.