PLAYER PROFILE

Season 2013/14

United Honours

2. Rafael

Birthdate:09 Jul 1990
Birthplace:Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Position:Right back
Appearances159
Goals Scored5
Joined United:01 Jul 2008
United Debut:17 Aug 2008 v Newcastle (H)
International:Brazil

Combining attacking ambition with defensive strength, Rafael da Silva is perhaps the epitome of the modern full-back.

The Brazilian starlet is already a full international, having excelled at United since making his first team debut during a 1-1 draw with Newcastle in August 2008 - a surprise outing that was prompted by an inspired display in Barry Fry's testimonial earlier in the month.

Incredibly, what made Rafa's bow even more impressive was the fact he hadn't played competitively in over a year while the Reds applied for international clearance on his (and twin brother Fabio) transfer from Fluminense.

With surpreme confidence and ambition, he made several noteworthy appearances thoughout the 2008/09 campaign, scoring his first goal at Arsenal in November before staking a claim for the full-time right-back berth ahead of Messrs Neville and Brown.

As a result, Sir Alex Ferguson soon offered a two-year contract extension and a nomination for the PFA Young Player of the Year award was soon won, as well as a place on the bench for the UEFA Champions League final defeat to Barcelona.

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