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Just How Much Do You Love The Twins?

When the Da Silva boys joined Manchester United, it was Fabio who came with the biggest reputation. He was the Brazil U-17 captain who cost slightly more than his brother.

However, it was Rafael we grew to love first. Whilst both aren’t the most robust, Fabio suffered more with injuries and when fit, had a better player to displace in Patrice Evra than Rafael did for right-back.

Rafael is a scrapper, who squared up to Carlos Tevez earlier this season, who got in trouble for reacting ferociously to an unjust sending off at White Hart Lane and was one of the few United players who looked up for it at Anfield a couple of weeks ago. I’m sure plenty of us have a soft spot for him, given how slight and young he is, he’s just a little lad, but the tenacity in him when on the pitch is something beyond his years and build. He’s like a little terrier, nipping at opposition wingers’ heels and then bounding forward when in possession. Gareth Bale and Samir Nasri, two players who have been tipped to be named Player of the Year, fitted nicely in to Rafael’s back pocket on their trips to Old Trafford in the league, with our youngster showing he’s more than capable of measuring up against the best.

Rafael has then made it easy for us to like Fabio, despite us not “knowing” him as well. He’s only played for us 9 times in the league and in all competitions, has 27 appearances, which is some way short of Rafael’s 39 league appearances and 68 in all competitions.

What is nice though, with their twin thing going on, is that both of them have scored two goals and the opposition for both is Wigan and Arsenal.

Rafael’s first goal for United came in our 2-1 defeat at the Emirates in 2008 when he first started to look like a genuine contender for our right-back position. He was a second half sub and looked the business before putting away a great effort. His second goal came over a year later in our 5-0 victory over Wigan last season.

Fabio hasn’t wasted so much time. There are just two weeks between his first goal against Wigan and his second against Arsenal yesterday. Both his goals were to do with positioning, being in the right place at the right time, so I’m sure there’s more to come.

Whilst we love these twins, it all could have been very different, as Arsenal approached them after United had shown an interest.

“The scout said he was from Arsenal and invited us to come and train,” Rafael said. “At that time we had already been to see Manchester United and train once with our club’s permission. But this man wanted to take us to England and say nothing to Fluminense. We disagreed with that principle. Fluminense was where we started, we had been there for years and they looked after us.”

Fabio was just as unimpressed with Arsenal’s tapping up.

“It was upsetting,” he said. “We could have signed there and then and taken all the money and Fluminense would have got nothing. But our mother said ‘No, Fluminense have been good to you. You went there when you were 11. I want you to do everything right’. So we said we would sign for Manchester as it would be the best thing for us and Fluminense. So we signed and ignored the man pushing Arsenal.”

Talented lads, a good moral compass and they’re just 20-years-old. We’ve got years in them yet, whether at full-back or on the wing. How lucky are we?

After Rooney put us 2-0 up yesterday, Rafael turned to the Stretford End and celebrated with our fans. “Come on!” he gestured, pumping his fists in the air. I love it.

Fabio deserves a start in a league game and Rafael should be our right-back, regardless of the experience John O’Shea brings to help Chris Smalling in Rio Ferdinand’s absence. They’re a cracking pair and I’m so glad they’re ours. They love playing for this club, they’re passionate, and they’ve hardly even started yet.

Viva Da Silvas!

EXCLUSIVE Interview With Rafael: United Dream, City’s Cash and Brazil Call-Up
Rafael goes mental vs Spurs
We love you Rafael
Manchester United’s Rafael and Fabio Da Silva set sights on twin goals

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. Red Devil says:


    Looks like tunnicliffe is making quite a name for himself! :D Here’s what a scouser had to say about him….

    “This is why every neutral football fan I know doesn’t like United, couldn’t have bothered a sunday league team before a lucky-breaky, crap piece of refereing.

    I could only have hated Tunnicliffe more if he had been named Neville!”


  2. MG says:

    United youth

    Rise of the Dark side

    Orchestrated by Gary Neville and Paul Scholes


  3. dazbomber says:

    Stuck in work thanks for the updates

  4. Costas says:


    LOL. The young Sith apprentices have been taught well. ;)

  5. Redhev says:

    Everybody has said that Rafael and Fabio are not good enough to be playing for United, well everybody u are wrong!! Rafael has proved it how good he is at right, left back and right wing and central midfield!! Fabio is good at left and right back and also left wing! So people need to BELIEVE IB THE DA SILVA TWINS!!!! RAFAEL AND FABIO DA SILVA RULE!!!!

  6. MG says:


    The future is coming

    And we can show everyone how it will unfold unlike other’s ;)

  7. carlos_anubis says:

    I like positive Scott articles so much more than negative Scott articles :)

    Great one Scott

    *cough*Beckham Is a Red*cough*

  8. StatesideAussie says:

    @saad … “I’ll say one thing about Anderson…he needs to watch his weight. He’s bloating up a bit and if he can’t be effective for the full 90 mins of a game, he’s no good as a midfielder.” I’m not sure about that. He’s the stocky type, isn’t he? But so was Maradona. I’m sure that if his weight was becoming a problem, the club would be on his back like a fly on a hot sausage. There’s no way they wouldn’t be monitoring him (and everyone else), and there’s no way he could hide it.

  9. mattbw7 says:

    has the youth game finished where is it being shown

  10. Saad says:


    I heard match commentators mention it recently and that’s when I noticed that he indeed has bulked up slightly around the midregion. And who knows, maybe the club has been talking to him about it.

  11. willierednut says:

    Anderson isn’t hefty by any means. Bebe eats all his food, anyway. ;)

  12. danielle says:


  13. Snoopy says:

    Hope more from them…Bravo twin….

  14. StatesideAussie says:

    Lol@ willie. Saad, I hear what you’re saying, but I just find it inconceivable that if his weight was affecting his performance, the club either wouldn’t know about, or wouldn’t take any action. One of the things that came to light in the stories about that drug cheat Toure, was that the players are constantly monitored for weight and body fat — that’s at shitty of course, but I can’t imagine United are any different.

  15. Saad says:


    You’re right, mate.

    But I made no connection between the weight thingy and his current playing form. Someone here was talking about Anderson in general and I just mentioned the weight thing because, as we know from the case of Ronaldinho, it can totally ruin your game. I remember hearing a commentator mention it before a match started and since then I watched Ando’s physique carefully to see if indeed it was true. And I felt that he had a small tire building around his midregion. That’s all. No argument with your point about clubs monitoring such things.

  16. StatesideAussie says:

    @saad, no worries. I certainly hope it doesn’t get out of control. He does look like someone who might need to watch it.

  17. Zibbie says:

    I have a man crush on the twins they play with fire, furry and finesse. Youthful aggressive mistakes can be coached the rest can’t.

  18. Chep13 says:

    I co-sign: Viva Da Silvas! I hope they will long feel like home at United and stay for years

  19. fergie is the boss says:

    StatesideAussie – its massive the likes of anderson park and valencia get back and fit has we do not have the mobility at the minute if we take fletcher out of the side, for me its also a relief we have a plan B on the wings in the da silva twins. Yesterday we were brilliant on the counter but we were useless in the engine room in terms of retaining possesion. No one can blame gibson when oshea is put there, when he is hardly used in the engine room anymore. Still united must buy atleast one central midfielder has the current lot in the engine room, the cycle has come to an end.

  20. SteniS says:

    How much? A fuckin’ lot! They’ve got everything; talent, desire, work-ethic, enthusiasm. Will be legends in the same vein as the Nevs!

  21. NBi Red Onion says:

    I love the twins alot, I want to adopt them and tuck them into bed at night. Every morning , I would get up early to make them a packed lunch. Who can beat that, no one can beat that. So basically what a few of the Costas fans on here see to want to do to him…! Honestly, Costas dude you do seem to have a lot of fans on this site, you are most popular after Scott but I have to admit everytime I see your name I just think of my favourite coffee shop, they make good croissants too. King Eric also seems quite popular but you get the feeling he is not someone you would want to meet ina dark alley, you know, has that bit of cold hard steel that arsenal are missing.

    Also, I think the person who comments last – in this case me – should have the same kudos as the one who comments first, in fact more as those of us who sat at the back of the class were cooler…I mean way more cool

    Anyway, I LOVE the twins and I am okay with Rooney being sold if that is true. So be it. God bless United, and nobody else.

  22. Paul Parker says:

    These two are a CLASS ACT, what more can be said?

  23. smartalex says:

    Heir style – afrodisiac, short, back and sides.

  24. King Eric says:

    NBI Red Onion – Ha ha great post mate. I aren’t scary I really am not. Its all an act, keyboard bravado if you will. In “real life” I am 8 stone and five feet 1 inch !! Only joking.

  25. alan says:

    the problem for fabio is that evra the best left back in the world and for rafel with all respects to nevelle brown o shea

  26. Red Devil says:

    Sorry NBI red Onion

    I am last …haha
    So kudos to me!!

  27. sahil says:

    i love them very much…hope for their great future at manchester…

  28. martokj says:



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