Former Manchester United right-back Rafael has revealed incidents when then manager Sir Alex Ferguson often confused him with his twin brother Fabio, who too played for the same club.
The Da Silva brothers were eligible to play for the Old Trafford club from July 2008, after having initially signed in 2007.
Rafael went on to become a prominent figure in the United ranks after taking over from legend Gary Neville at the right-back position. The talented Brazilian went on to win several trophies under Ferguson, and enjoyed success at England’s most decorated club.
His brother did not go on to earn the same reputation as a player, however, and featured in just 56 matches for the Red Devils. With Patrice Evra in the left-back role, Fabio was shunned of opportunities.
The talented player left for Cardiff in 2014, and a year later, his brother Rafael joined French side Lyon in 2015, after he was shown the door by Louis van Gaal, and is currently plying his trade there.
Rafael was once touted to be the next big player for United, but change of managers led to his eventual exit, but he fondly remembers his days under Fergie, who he feels shaped him as a player.
Further, the full-back has gone on to reveal that Scotsman often mistook him for his brother during training sessions, according to a report in the Mirror.
“It happened many, many times,” Rafael said. “It wasn’t rare that before training he’d look at me and say: ‘Come on, go to the left wing. When that happened, I used to just look at him. Then he’d go: ‘I meant right wing, Rafael!’ It’s funny to remember it – Fergie is a special person in my life.”
A United fan since his childhood days, Rafael added that Fergie is the best manager he has ever worked with.
“He’s the best manager I’ve ever worked with, no doubt. I learned so many things from him and I will be grateful for that forever. He’d always have some good advice to tell you at training,” he revealed.
Written by Rajdeep Saha
Sports journalist with stints across print, digital and television. Contribution to each medium has been thrilling. Experienced in writing for this passionate game called football. Journalist by choice and passion.