6 January 2017
Each week, we offer you a full portrait of one of the players that will be in the spotlights during the World Championships 2017, with the help from one of the four ambassadors of the competition. This week, Rafael Capote as seen by Jérôme Fernandez.
Aged 29, Rafael Capote has had one of the most originals journeys to high-level handball. After leaving Cuba, the island where he was born, in 2007, he travelled to Brazil then Italy before making it to Spain in 2009 where he’ll come to light. First, with the club of Ciudad Encantada, with which he finishes fifth top scorer of the Liga Asobal in 2011, becoming target of interest for many high-level teams. Naturhouse La Rioja decides to sign him in the summer of 2011, before Rafael Capote decides to move to Qatar three months later to play with El Jaish, a club he hasn’t left since. Logically, he’s part of the players who are given a Qatari passport before the world championship in the country in 2015. A competition in which he will succeed both on a personal and a team plan, with a silver medal after only losing the final against France, before being elected best left-back of the tournament.
Jérôme Fernandez about Rafael Capote
“Rafael Capote is a player I’ve known when I played in Spain, he was only at the beginning of his career. He’s got extra-ordinary physical qualities, the natural son of Cuba handball players that we’ve een at the end of the 90s, most notably Carlos Perez, who played with Veszprem. He has made progress on a daily basis to turn into one of the best left back players in the world. He’s very valuable for Qatar, a team with two very powerful left backs who can shoot from a distance. But Capote is much more consistent than Zarko Markovic, probably thanks to a better physical condition. But it wouldn’t do Capote justice to say that’s he’s only a shooter since he can defend very well too. If he wasn’t playing in Qatar, he’d probably be in a high profile team in Europe right now.”
Rafael Capote and the 2017 World Championship
“The world championship that we played at home two years ago was certainly the best moment of my handball career and I’d really like to obtain such results again. We know that France will be the obvious favourite in this world championship since, with your fans backing you up, you can do almost surreal things. But we’ve got hope to get a good result. The main thing for us will be to play well in the group games, where we’ll meet with Denmark, Sweden and Argentina, three teams that will want to finish at the best spot as they can so make life easier for the rest of the competition. And the, from the Last 16, it will be another competition, anything can happen when you play only one game !”
The phenomenal play
We’ve told you that before, Rafael Capote is an extraordinary offense player, “one of the best left backs in the world”, according to Jérôme Fernandez. Here is the proof. An IHF video in which his shots are analysed in order to show young players how right his choices are. And when you see how many technical skills this player has, you can understand why he is branded as such an example !