blow the candles out on my birthday cake my wish was always to become a footballer. We loved playing the game and, as youngsters, we were very strong runners. A guy called Zezinho, who was a coach of a local team, saw us and thought we both had potential.
Fabio: It was always our ambition to become as good a player as Roberto Carlos – he was our hero. He and Cafu are the best full-backs there have ever been. We watched a lot of football when we younger – we supported Botafogo, but we always used to be Manchester United whenever we played football games on the computer.
Fabio, you’ve shown your eye for goal in the Reserves and Rafael, few can forget your spectacular first strike for the Reds against Arsenal…
Rafael: When the ball went in, I didn’t really feel much because I was only interested in helping us get another goal to draw level. I couldn’t get my head round the fact I’d just scored against Arsenal! But afterwards a lot of people asked me about it and although I was disappointed we’d lost the game, I was delighted to have scored a great goal.
Fabio: I was watching the game at home on TV with my family and we were all jumping up and down when he scored, and my mum started crying because she was so happy. It’s always a great feeling to score – I’ve been happy to get a few goals for the Reserves and hopefully I can score some for the first team.
Describe each other as a player…
[Both pause and look at each other grinning]
Fabio: I’ll go first! He’s very aggressive, determined and he never gives up on anything. He always looks to do his best and help the team win at all costs.
Rafael: Despite the fact he plays mainly on the left wing, he has a good eye for goal. He’s aggressive as well and has very good technical ability.
Finally, what are your personal ambitions for this season?
Rafael: Just to help the team do well and play as many games as possible.
Fabio: We’re still young and are just trying to do the best we can. We have a great squad with some good young players and lots of experience. The young lads are always pushing the older ones and hopefully we’ll continue to get more chances.
Read the full interview in issue 207 of Inside United.