blighted by various injuries before a controversial dismissal against Bayern Munich botched his form book. That incident, however, would prove to be the making of the man.
Although the next season was once again undermined by fitness issues, Rafa enjoyed several highlights and went on to cement his first team status during the following 2011/12 campaign - when his burgeoning partnership with wing commander Antonio Valencia shone through.
His endeavours were rewarded with a new four-year deal, a contract offer that appeared shrewd after the Samba Star made 40
appearances and scored three outstanding goals to help reclaims the Barclays Premier League title at the end of the 2012/13 season.
"I think I have just been consistent this season," Rafa told ManUtd.com in June. "I think I am getting more mature, like I’ve always said, and it has been a very good season for me."
The future, it seems, is extremely bright for United's blossoming Brazilian.