Raffael hails Favre's influence

Raffael has worked with Lucien Favre at three separate clubs and rates Borussia Monchengladbach's coach as critical to his career.

Borussia Monchengladbach attacking midfielder Raffael labelled coach Lucien Favre as "the most important person" in his career.

Raffael has thrived at Gladbach since being signed by Favre before the 2013-14 season, scoring 24 goals in 60 Bundesliga appearances for the club.

Favre and Raffael have previously worked together at Zurich and Hertha Berlin, with the Swiss coach signing the Brazilian playmaker at the German capital club too.

"He [Favre] has been and still is the most important person in my career in football - I can certainly say that," Raffael told the Bundesliga's website.

"Having the opportunity of working with him here and now is enough for me to be happy. I like working for him as a coach but I also like him as a person as well and playing for him makes me happy."

This season is Favre's fourth full campaign in charge of Gladbach, with the 57-year-old having led the North Rhine-Westphalia-based club to finishes of fourth, eighth and fifth.

After 29 league matches, Gladbach sit fourth, which comes with a spot in next season's UEFA Champions League qualifying rounds, while only goal difference separates Favre's men from third-placed Bayer Leverkusen.

Raffael is desperate to secure a spot in Europe's premier continental club competition, having previously tasted Champions League action with Zurich and Dynamo Kiev.

"It's my main goal because every footballer in the world dreams of playing in the Champions League against the best players in the world and I really hope we can do it," he said.

Gladbach face second-placed Wolfsburg on Sunday in a crucial match, as it could take Gladbach 15 points clear of fifth-placed Schalke with four Bundesliga games remaining.