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- First Name:
- Last Name:
- da Silva
- National Team:
- Date of Birth:
- Jul 9, 1990
Rafael started his footballing career back home in Brazil with Fluminense. It was whilst playing for Fluminense in a Hong Kong youth tournament that he was first noticed by Manchester United. Former academy director Les Kershaw was so impressed with his ability that United approached his club as early as 2005.
It wasn't until January 2008 that United finally landed the talented youngster, though he wasn't eligible to play until his 18th birthday later that year.
His first appearance in a United shirt came against Peterborough in a pre-season friendly in August. He produced an impressive display that convinced Sir Alex to register him for the senior squad for the upcoming season, handing him the #21 shirt.
His league debut came on the opening day of the 2008/2009 season. He came on as a substitute for the final 10 minutes against Newcastle United.
His first United goal was one to remember. With United trailing Arsenal 2-0 at the Emirates, the ball bounced out to Rafael just inside the penalty area, he controlled the ball with his chest before smashing a left foot volley into the left hand corner of the net.
In 2012 he became Utd's first choice right back with a string of impressive displays.
- Played (start/sub):
- 157 (142/15)
- Goals (hattricks):
- 7 (0)