Rafael is hoping to be fit again soon to compete for Lyon.

Rafael urges United: 'You can do it against PSG!'

Tuesday 12 February 2019 05:00

Former Manchester United defender Rafael believes the time is right for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's men to upset Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League round of 16.

The Brazilian full-back was with the Reds between 2008 and 2015, and remains hugely popular with the club’s supporters.

Rafa is currently preparing for Lyon’s own Champions League tie against Barcelona on Tuesday 19 February, but he has taken time out to conduct an exclusive interview with our official matchday programme, United Review.

Rafael enjoyed a special connection with the Old Trafford crowd.

Lyon recently defeated table-topping PSG in Ligue 1 and the 28-year-old reckons this should give extra confidence to United, and generate a hope that Thomas Tuchel’s team of superstars can be beaten.

"We won against them 2-1 the other week, and you can do it," he explains in the interview for United Review. "If United play their football, they can win the tie, definitely. I missed the game against PSG because I had an operation, and I have been out for two months, but I hope to be back very soon.

"I watched and you could see that PSG can be beaten. In France, you cannot speak bad things about PSG because they are a fantastic team. But, to be honest, they are not in a good moment. They had a problem with [Adrien] Rabiot because he is maybe going to leave in the summer and he is a good player for them.

"Neymar is injured as well, so it is not the best moment for them. For United, I think it is the opposite, with the games they have been winning – United now are in a very good moment. I think it will be a very good game to watch."

The tenacious defender won three Premier League titles with United and will always remain a Red at heart.

"Lyon is a great city and this is a very good club as well," he added. "So I’m really enjoying myself. I’ve been here three-and-a-half years but, of course, I still love Manchester United. Everyone knows. I must come to visit one day.

"I see some things on social media from United fans and I get very happy. It makes me very glad when I hear from United supporters. Of course, United means a lot. We have that phrase: ‘Once a Red, always a Red’, and I will always be Red. It’s just fantastic. The club gave me everything. I played for them, won titles, it was an amazing time in my life.

"I talk with Fletch [Darren Fletcher], Rio [Ferdinand], Patrice [Evra], Chunks [Tom Cleverley], [Antonio] Valencia, Chicha [Javier Hernandez], so quite a few players I played with. It’s always nice to hear from them."

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