rss twitter facebook mobile

Rafael: Fergie Still Mixes Us Up

When the Da Silvas first joined Manchester United, the boss used Fabio’s wedding ring to tell him apart from identical brother Rafael. Since our right-back got married in the summer, Sir Alex Ferguson now struggles to tell them apart.

“When we came to the club, Fabio had just got married and wore a ring so our boss just had to look at the left hand to tell us apart. It was quite funny,” said Rafael. “But now we are both married and wear rings. This has made his life more difficult and occasionally he still gets it wrong. We laugh, but he takes it well.”

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.

View all posts by Scott »



  1. kanchelskis says:


    Didn’t know Valbuena was a doubt for them. If he’s out, that’s a big boost. He looked a handful when he came on in Marseille, and is exactly the kind of player likely to exploit the Hargreaves-shaped gap in front of our back 4.

    Gignac is key for them in the French league, but I fancy Vidic to keep him quiet (let’s hope he starts).

    Nobody’s guessed a team yet I don’t think… so here goes



    Nani (R)
    Rooney (L)


  2. ancha says:

    I’m off guys, have a nice match day, I will sign off with my predicated line up and score line

    evds – oshea, smalling, vidic, evra – rooney/nani, carrick, scholes,Gibson,giggs – berbatov/rooney

    score : 2-0

  3. jeet says:

    ancha – David Bekham!! Just messing, mate – I know, cant think of two many 30 yr old playmakers

  4. ancha says:

    the only good thing about injuries to fletch/andersen is Gibson gets a proper run of games, this has to be the time he should step up as he won’t get such opportunities easily at united

  5. Costas says:

    If we had a fit full squad, it would have been easier for me to predict the line up. But it’s tough to say if Nani and Valencia are ready to go for 90 minutes. So I will predict this, knowing that there’s not a chance in hell I’ll get it right:

    VDS – Rafael, Smalling, Vidic, Evra – Gibson, Carrick, Scholes, Giggs – Rooney, Hernandez

    I chose Rafa over O’Shea because without a natural right winger, Rafa can make more forward runs. Of course, Rooney can also move on the right making it a 4-5-1 if need be. As for the centre forward, I can’t see Berb starting as much as I like him. :(

    But in all likelyhood, we will probably see either Nani or Tony V starting. Probably the former.


    Morning mate. Nope. No chance of that. :)

  6. jeet says:

    Costas, what’s ur prediction?
    My preferred (not predicted) line up:

    JOS Vida Smalling Evra
    Scholes Carrick
    Rafa Rooney Nani

    Tony V subs Rafa and Giggsy subs Nani. Once we are 2-0 up, Gibson subs Chicha

    JOS Vida Smalling Evra
    Tony V Scholes Carrick Gibson Fabio/Giggs

  7. jeet says:

    Ahh Costas, our posts crossed in cyberspace

  8. Berba's Grandpa says:

    My prediction:

    Nani on for Valencia at half time as neither as ready for a full game. Gibson and Chicha to come off the bench too

  9. smartalex says:

    Later this evening, after the match, so many posts are flying in that it’s hard to keep a track of everything being said.

    Post ROMatic Stress Disorder.

  10. kanchelskis says:

    Berba’s Grandpa

    I don’t see why Nani, if he’s available, wouldn’t be able to play the 90. It wasn’t a muscle, tendon or ligament wound. The only reason he might be held back is if the wound hasn’t healed fully, thus risking infection. I wouldn’t have thought his match fitness would wear off in 2 weeks.

    I agree that Valencia may not last the full match though.

  11. smartalex says:

    ex manutd . com:

    ‘Marseille boss Deschamps was among the crowd at Old Trafford on Saturday to see United knock Arsenal out of the FA Cup – no doubt on a spying mission to prepare his side for Tuesday’s European clash, though he won’t have learned too much from Sir Alex’s much-changed side.’

  12. Berba's Grandpa says:

    @ kanchelskis
    Good point. He probably could play the whole game, but since Valencia needs just a chunk of the match, and the left wing is looking okay with the possibility of Giggs, Fabio and (although I’m against it) Rooney, there’s no point risking him soon after such a quick return from what was a horrific injury imo

  13. kanchelskis says:

    Berba’s Grandpa

    Yeh, I doubt we’ll see both him and Valencia on the pitch at any one time. Last season, a few times Fergie started Nani then brought on Valencia on around 60/65 mins, and his raw pace really troubled tired left-backs. Not sure who’ll be at LB tonight for them – I know Heinze’s moving into the centre – but I’d like to see that trick repeated again, especially as Valencia is also a great out-ball when you’re defending a lead (see Arsenal). He just gets it, keeps his head up, and carries it 30/40 yards, taking the pressure off the defence.

    Re. Heinze’s lack of pace… an argument for starting Hernandez, perhaps?

  14. Berba's Grandpa says:

    Yeah, playing Nani and Valencia the opposite way round, with Nani starting, would also be a good shout. I’d think it a very good decision either way, and whichever way round Sir Alex plays it I’m sure that’s the correct one. Hernandez would certainly give him hell, but with Berba such a confidence player I worry about his form taking a knock if he spends too much time on the bench. Plus he’s fresh from the weekend and Hernandez would be super-effective against a Heinze who’s been worn down by trying to keep up with a fresh Berba and his staggering technique and touch all game

  15. kanchelskis says:

    Berba’s Grandpa

    Yep, I’m pretty sure we’ll see Berba start, given his lack of recent action. Big games like this call for experience on the field from the get-go. Chico definitely on the bench, I feel.

  16. willierednut says:

    Important to point out, that Heinze will be playing at center half. He isn’t the quickest, so that could play into our hands.

  17. jay says:

    If the issue with Nani is true then this is Manchester United’s own doing if they had not given into Rooney’s demands then maybe Nani would not be asking for a pay increase right now. I don’t blame Nani because he has been playing better than Rooney has and is on less than half of what Rooney is getting. What is even more shocking is that Berbatov was being paid £100,000 a week when he was not producing the goods until this season. Players like Fletcher, Gibson, Evans and Carrick will take whatever deal they are given and not kick up a fuss not because they are loyal but because 1 they are not playing that great and 2 no other big club is going to be chasing after them and pay them any where near the amount they are getting now. Nani is not the only player who can kick up a fuss about pay either we have Hernandez, Fabio, Rafael and Smalling who in few years if they do reach their potential will want to be getting really good wages and if they do become as good as I think they can be if we don’t match them some other big club will. On the other hand we have the FIFA fair play rules that will hopefully force all clubs to lower their wages.

  18. theboogeyman says:

    willie- Hey pal. Yeah Heinze at center half will allow us to rip them to shreds if we play Chicharito. His pace will rip Heinze a new one.

    Costa- Yeah well I used to get first posts a lot too and not say a word. Like you said, it’s one thing to type a comment out and then say you were first, that’s alright. But if you’re gonna just say “FIRST” and fuck off, you’re nothing more than an idiot. Also, I’m gonna start getting first to every post come April 1st and my exams are done lol.

  19. theboogeyman says:

    jay- I think the story about Nani is complete bollocks.

  20. willierednut says:

    Jay – While I agree Nani has played better than Rooney this season, what about other seasons? I don’t think United give Rooney a pay rise, because how he was playing this season, but his over all contribution to United since he signed. Nani has been the dogs bollox, but he only signed a new deal last year. If he was to continue in the same form next year, then the club, I’m sure, will look at giving him a better contract. We don’t even know yet, if It’s true, so lets hold off, until we know more mate.

  21. 3/without/killing/anyone* says:

    I am pretty sure Berbatov will score tonight. I have that Berb feeling ;)

  22. willierednut says:

    theboogeyman – Ok pal? I don’t think the little pea will start tonight. The boss will probably go with his experience, for this one.

  23. Costas says:


    Haha, I’d love to see that. Ruin the first post for them. :) Oh and good luck with your exams.

  24. gb says:

    we should sing the da silva song tonight!!!

  25. RedDeviled Egg says:

    Here you go. End of the story's-nani-denies-reports-of-interest-in-italy-move?cc=5901

    Nani tweeted he has no interest in a move


You must be logged in to post a comment.