In the second part of our Rafael interview, the young Brazilian discusses scoring at Anfield, United's festive fixtures and his desire to lift the Barclays Premier League trophy in 2013...
You’ve chipped in with a couple of goals this season. How satisfying has that been?
I started really well and scored two quite quickly. It's a shame I haven't been able to get a few more because it's a great feeling when you score. Like any other player I hope to score more goals in the future. Quite a few of the defenders have been scoring this season and that's always good for the team - it helps to take a bit of pressure off the attackers.
Tell us about your goal at Liverpool this season...
It's definitely the best goal I've scored for United. It was an unbelievable feeling and when it helps the team win the match it's even better. I remember looking at the ball and it took a little bounce and sat up for me. I thought, 'I have to hit this now, I have to score here' and so I hit it and it went exactly where I wanted it to go.
Which gives you the biggest buzz – a clean sheet or a goal?
They're different feelings, different emotions. One takes 90 minutes to achieve, the other happens in an instant. I can't separate them, but they're both good! Unfortunately, we haven't had too many clean sheets this season. It's a bit of a worry but because we're still winning most of the games it's not a disaster. But it's probably the biggest weakness of our season so far. Thankfully we know we can improve on that aspect and I'm confident we'll do that.
Do the players always feel a good Christmas period sets you up well for the second half of the season?
I think so, yes. With so many games in quick succession there are a lot of points up for grabs. There are also a lot of points to lose, so it's important you get the right result. You don't want to be left chasing another team at the top of the table because even though it's only December it can be difficult to claw back those points. But we have a big squad at United and the manager will use all the players to make sure we stay fresh. If we do well over this period then it can set us up well for a title push.
Winning the league must be the main aim after the disappointment of coming so close and missing out last season?