New manager Mano Menezes, appointed as Dunga’s successor after Brazil’s disappointing World Cup campaign, named Rafael in a 23-man squad to face the USA on 10 August in New Jersey.
Speaking exclusively to ManUtd.com, Rafael said: "I'm so happy to have been called up to the national team and very proud. It's my first call and I hope there will be more to come in the future. The coach called me before he announced the squad and asked me how I felt and how my training was going. I was so happy when he told me I was going to be in the squad."
While Rafael is among a host of young stars to be handed a chance to shine, his continued presence in the team is by no means guaranteed, especially as competition for the right-back berth comes from one of Brazil’s best performers in South Africa.
“Maicon plays in my position and he is a great player who I can learn a lot from,” Rafael said. “I am so lucky to play for the best team in the world, Manchester United. Now to play for my country