Rafael Da Silva was a fan favourite at Manchester United and it was a surprise when Louis van Gaal allowed him to leave for Lyon. Despite a number of players featuring in this position since then, ahead of this summer’s signing of Aaron Wan-Bissaka, none of them have come close to being as good as the Brazilian.
Speaking free of charge in support of the RoM charity season preview, Rafael discussed his feelings for United, his memories of his time at the club and how he found life in Manchester.
United fans loved you when you played for the club and still do years after you left. Why do you think that is?
Maybe because of my passion to play the game and how I give everything on the pitch. Also, I think it is important that the fans feel that I love this club.
Do you still love United then?
Yes, of course!
Do you still watch United games?
Of course, I watch all the games that I can and I went to see the game at Old Trafford once when my brother played for Middlesbrough.
Who were you closest to in the United dressing room, apart from your brother?
Valencia, Chicharito, Fletcher and others that were very good friends of mine and I still keep in touch with them.
Who was the best player you played with at United?
Cristiano Ronaldo and Giggs.
What is your best memory from your time with the club?
The best moment by far was scoring against Liverpool.
How did it feel when you first came to Carrington?
It was overwhelming. Coming at such a young age to the best club in the world. Amazing feeling!
Manchester is probably a very different city to what you were used to. What did you think about living in the city?
I liked to live there as I arrived young and I know a lot of people. I felt at home in this city and I still have a house in Manchester today.
Made in Manchester is available for just £5. It includes 30 articles from the country's best football writers about graduates from the Manchester United academy. All profit goes to Trafford Macmillan so please support this fantastic cause.