Rafael Da Silva was first spotted by Manchester United when he was just 15-years-old and signed for the club shortly afterwards. He went on to spend seven seasons in our first team and made 169 appearances for us.
Speaking for free to help raise money for the RoM charity season preview, Rafael discussed some of his highs and lows, how he’d hoped to spend his entire career at United and his opinion of Carlos Tevez.
What did Ferguson say to you after your red card against Bayern Munich? You were applauded off the pitch by the fans that evening and the manager blamed it on “typical Germans” in the media.
I was so disappointed in what I did and when he saw me in the dressing room I was crying. He saw how I was so he didn’t say many words. After a couple of days he came to talk to me.
You scored a brilliant goal against QPR when Fabio was on loan there. Did he want to celebrate? Do you think you’ll ever play for the same club again?
Perhaps this could happen at Botafogo, which is a team that we have supported since we were kids and we have a dream to play there.
We haven’t had a better right-back than you since you moved to Lyon. Do you ever wonder what it might be like if you stayed?
I think it would have been great. It was my dream to play for Manchester United forever and Van Gaal made that impossible, but this is football.
You squared up to Tevez on a couple of occasions after he left United for City. What did you think about him leaving us for them?
I wouldn’t like to criticise anyone who does this, but personally, I think that when you have a certain identity with one team and then go to a rival, well, I wouldn’t do that. Maybe because I liked Man United so much and for him, perhaps, he did not have this same feeling, so maybe that’s the difference.
You beat City at the Etihad last season. How did that feel?
It was a great feeling, amazing! We played a very good game and I was very happy with our performance.
There’s a big difference between us and them at the moment. What do you think United can realistically achieve in the season ahead with Solskjaer?
I know him very well. He was one of the guys who helped my brother a lot. I believe he can go very far as he is a very good person and, if people listen to him, I am sure the team can achieve its objectives.
Read part I of the Rafael interview where he discusses he feelings for United, his greatest moment at the club and who his best mates were.