Ironically, Rafael, you’ve had the same injury this season…
Rafael: [Smiles and shakes his head] Yes, as Fabio says it’s hard when you can’t play [because of injury]. He’s actually been playing at right-back so it looks like we’ll be competing for the same position when I’m fit again! [both laugh]
Fabio: Obviously we both want to play and it’s a little strange to be competing for the same position, but it also gives us a lot of pleasure to be challenging for a place in the team.
Did you always want to be footballers?
Rafael: Yes, since the age of four that’s all we dreamt of. Whenever I used to 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.