Last week, Rafael da Silva played at Craven Cottage wearing boots with the name of his identical twin brother. Amongst jokes of a conspiracy and that the wrong twin was on the pitch, it was assumed that Rafael was just paying tribute to his brother.
The reality is, as Fabio has revealed today in an interview with The Independent, is that Nike made a mistake, and sent Rafael’s boots to London and Fabio’s boots to Manchester.
Fabio has been at Queens Park Rangers on loan all season but before his move away from United, the longest the 22-year-old twins had ever been apart from each other was two days.
“We spoke about this [splitting] when we were 12 years old,” said Fabio. “We would say: ‘One day we are going to split because we cannot be together for ever’. I knew it was going to happen. I just didn’t know when. Last year it happened, this was good. Now we have split, it’s better. I tell you, when me and him play together we look at each other. When I make a mistake I’m not saying he feels – he doesn’t lose confidence but he gets less [diminished] a little bit. Now [this season] when he plays and he has a good game and another good game he gets confidence. When I was there sometimes I was not playing or not playing well. Maybe he feels that I am down… because we lived together [in Manchester]. Sometimes when he plays he is happy. Sometimes when I play I am happy. Now we are getting more mature. He is there. I am here. Now we understand each other more. This is football. We are different. He is there, I am here. When we are together we discuss this. I say, ‘When I play bad you don’t have to be unhappy.’ We discuss everything together. He knew I wanted to leave United to play more games. To play consistently. He agrees with me. He thinks it’s good for me to leave United to play more football. I enjoy it. I know it hasn’t been a good season for Queen’s Park Rangers but I try to improve and to help.”
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. Everyone who buys a copy enters a competition to win the new home shirt. All profit goes to Trafford Macmillan so please support this fantastic cause.