EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEWS

"Now, I think I’m starting to get old and more mature... you can’t be young forever!" 

- Rafael

03/06/2013 09:15, Report by Adam Marshall
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Rafael's review

Something we noticed was how, when you hit the woodwork against Villa, you didn’t dwell on it but won an important aerial duel straight afterwards to help get us on the attack again. That was impressive…

That’s the mentality, to focus. I was really, really concentrating in that game because we had the chance to be champions. Yes, sometimes I have shown my frustration here when I’ve missed some goals. Hopefully, this shows that I am getting better.

Which one thing helped us win the title the most?

I think we were extremely focused this season. I think we have had the mentality to get the trophy back. Everyone worked together. Robin coming in has helped a lot as well, Shinji Kagawa too because he is also such a good player. The players we brought in helped ensure the spirit of the team was very good.

The boss thinks Shinji will be even more influential next season. Do you agree?

I’m sure about that. He’s a clever player. Maybe it’s hard when you come over and it’s been the first season for him. He is Japanese and played in Germany, where it’s a completely different type of football. But he’s a clever player and shows this in training.

There are a number of younger players who should improve again next term...

Exactly. If you see all the players now, we are starting to get mature. We were young – me, Jones, Chris Smalling, De Gea, Welbeck – we were all young. Now we are getting towards the age of 24 or 25 and that’s a good age. We need to improve every day.

Are other players starting to look up to you already?

Now, I think I’m starting to get older and more mature. You can’t be young forever! I’ve always tried

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