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Anderson: Rafael Will Succeed Me

Anderson won the Tuttosport Golden Boy award this week, which recognises the best player in Europe under the age of 21-years-old. Previously won by Wayne Rooney, Lionel Messi and Cesc Fabregas, Anderson has claimed the award and has made his predictions for next year’s winner.

When asked who he thinks could win the award next season, he was quick to mention his United team mate. “Rafael da Silva, my partner and compatriot in Manchester,” Anderson said. “He is a phenomenon. Or even his brother, Fabio, who isn’t playing at the moment because of injury.”

Anderson joined United as a clear attacking player, but now his role shows more defensive elements, showing competency in the physical aspect of the game. Our Brazilian explained how and why this happened, looking back to the eight month period he spent on the sidelines with a broken leg.

“I was still recovering, but now I feel 100%, like I did before the operation,” said Anderson. “So I decided to back my position about twenty meters and no longer be offensive but focus on recovery. I immediately liked to Sir Alex and I have changed roles, especially since a great match I played in that position against Wigan. I forgotten the street football of Porto Alegre, when I was nicknamed ‘The little Pele’, now I am another player. United plays 4-2-4 where the attackers are Berbatov, Ronaldo, Rooney and Tevez or Nani or Giggs. Me and Carrick or Scholes must serve as a filter behind and stay on our guard. I like playing in this role.”

It seems like the option of professional football or drug dealer is more common than we might have previously imagined, with Anderson reflecting on his upbringing.

“My father died when I was 10 years,” Anderson added. “In 11 years, I was out to earn a living. The area where we lived was notorious. I saw my friends get shot and die at 13 years old. I could have become an offender, a drug-dealer. Luckily, I had my passion for football and Gremio hired me!”

About Scott

Scott is the editor of Red Matters - 50 Years of Supporting Manchester United and an author of Play Like Fergie's Boys and Not Nineteen Forever. He writes for ESPN, The Metro and Bleacher Report. Follow @R_o_M on Twitter.

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  1. mo says:

    anderson should stay with united forever, so he can play footy at the highest level, win trophies and still chill with his homies nani, rafael, ronaldo, fabio, possebon,rooney and rio after games.

  2. shaun32tevez says:

    hopefully HE wins it again playin for us. rafael is leeeful tho….

  3. North Stand,Tier 3,Back Row says:

    Is Fabio back playing with the reserves yet? Cant wait to see the two of them playing in the First team together…

  4. Unibrown says:

    He is a very good player most especially he a left for rafael let he wait his time we come because he still young.

  5. james f says:

    The way Rafael plays, he will succeed Ronaldo as the best footballer in the world!

  6. Haakon says:

    Rafaels defensive positioning is woeful. Carrick/Park/Fletcher has often come to his rescue, and often it leaves the back four as a back three. Sometimes he’s even tracked back from the right wing down to the left back. But he’s young and his positioning will be fine, and he will hopefully become the worlds best right back (successing Gary Neville in other words).

    Playing both Rafael and Fabio at the same time could make us vulnerable at the back four, as we would be playing 2-4-4. Vidic and Rio will probably cope though.

    Rafael is getting credits from lots of dippers, bitters and cockneys. Can’t wait to see their faces when we got two of them! Imagine that.

  7. anchaCR7 says:

    WTF….did u see the MANC match…he had robinho in his pocket……he was a lotttt better than at the start of the season…..he will be the best…. sooner than many of you think…he is learning fast….

  8. Eddie from S A says:

    Rafael has a lot to learn defense and crossing the ball need working on but he does show plenty potential and will improve with games under his belt

  9. Harry rd 4 life says:

    Rafael can you give the bitters back their wonder kind.(where was he for teh hull game?.. in rafael’s back pocket still). When we signed these two, I like everyone else was wondering who they were, what they were like etc. What a eye opener Rafaels been this season. I think I remember reading somewhere someone from Brazil saying that the only reason we signed Rafael was we really wanted Fabio. That Rafael was average at best and that Fabio was so much better. God if Rafael is average then can’t wait to see Fabio.

    Rafael does have a boit to learn about defending but come on hes only 18 and didnt play all last year.

    And to finish after Saturday all i’d like to say is VIDIC!……VIDIC!.

  10. SteRDLK says:

    The potential is definitly there for all the Brazilians at the club, I just hope they show just how good they are before they go elsewhere for a better climate

    Imagine this lineup


    Rafa Evans Vida Fabio

    Welbeck Possebon Anderson Tosic

    Rooney Campbell

    Only downside is having only 4 English players, if it was Football Manager I would replace Tosic with Ashley Young, that would be a deadly lineup

  11. 7Bestie7 says:

    I haven’t been able to see many of the matches this season so I don’t know how well Rafael has been playing in the prem (I have seen his European games though) and I can definitely see the potential he has. I remember hearing Tim-Vic constantly say that the reason United brought the twins over now rather than later was because they were already decent attacking fall-backs/wing-backs but they needed to improve their defensive game and that was better learned with us than in Brazil.

    The boy has a lot of talent, but let’s not start saying he is the next Big Thing just yet.

  12. Chris says:

    Great award for Anderson and well deserved based on last season. But doesn’t it make it even crazier that he wasn’t even nominated for the Premiership young player award last season? I guess there aren’t so many ABUs on the continent…

  13. OMelhorDoMundo says:

    Rafael obviously isn’t the best of defenders but how good a defender can an 18 year old be? What’s important is that he’s showing bags of talent and a great spirit that is extremely encouraging.

  14. AlexOfMancunia says:

    Rafael’s defending has gone on leaps and bounds since he first joined.

    Compare his poor positioning in his first game against Peterborough to how he kept Robinho in his pocket all game in the derby.

    Added to that his attacking ability, and the way he overlaps the winger just like Evra does, he’s a real star in the making.

    Also, with some of the goals Fabio has scored for the reserves, he looks like a real talent too! He’ll have more of a job displacing Evra though!

  15. King Eric says:

    He will be a real talent.

  16. OTRed says:

    ^^^^Exactly, his positioning isn’t a 100% yet, but its far from “woeful”, sheesh.


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