Rafael was given an awful time by Ronaldo, Ozil and Coentrao in the first half, and after being booked, it looked as though the manager may have taken him off to avoid what seemed to be an inevitable red card.
It should be noted that most right backs would struggle against such talent, particularly those aged just 22, and highly rated Pablo Zabaleta had a nightmare at the Bernabeu earlier this season, letting Ronaldo past him to score an injury time winner.
Rafael’s second half performance was much better and our Brazilian has revealed it is thanks to a chat from Sir Alex Ferguson at half time.
“Ferguson talked to me at half-time because I was leaving some space behind me,” Rafael told Globo Esporte. “I was a little anxious because I didn’t feel that I was playing well, but I did improve a lot after the break. We now have the advantage. It’s like it is still goalless and we have the home leg to come, but I still think we could have won the game. We now have a great chance of advancing to the next round.”
Made in Manchester is available for just £3. Some of the best football writers take a player each, from Sir Bobby Charlton to Ryan Giggs, George Best to David Beckham, Duncan Edwards to Paul Scholes, and many more, with 30 articles in total. All profit goes to Trafford Macmillan so please support this fantastic cause.