Rafael is a defender for Manchester United in the English Premier League. He plays on the opposite side to his identical twin brother Fabio, as a right-back. Whilst he is good at tackling and is not scared to try and take the ball off players twice his size, Rafael has impressed most United fans with his attacking play and willingness to get involved when the game becomes a battle.
Because Fluminese is a ‘partner-club’ of Manchester United, United were able to sign Rafael for just under £1m in February 2007. He was bought by Sir Alex Ferguson with the future very much in mind. Because he was still so young, Rafael stayed in Brazil until January 2008, at which point he and his family moved to England to acclimatise and adapt to the pace of the English game.
Rafael has all the attributes to do very well in the English Premier League, and has the winning mentality that is necessary to compete at the highest level. He made his competitive debut on 23rd September 2008 in the League Cup, and impressed manager Ferguson so much that he was played many times throughout the 08/09 season – with experienced professionals Wes Brown and Gary Neville kept on the sidelines.
He scored his first goal against rivals Arsenal in November 2008, when he was acclaimed for coming on as a substitute and injecting some urgency and passion into the United side. He has a very bright future at United, and will be the first-choice right-back for many years to come.