Rafael Reveals How Louis Van Gaal Forced Him To Leave

Reuters / Carl Recine

Former Manchester United defender Rafael da Silva has reportedly revealed how the Red Devils’ ex-manager, Louis van Gaal, forced him to make a move away from Old Trafford.

Rafael spent almost eight years at United and won three league titles under Sir Alex Ferguson’s management, but when Fergie left, and more importantly when Van Gaal took charge in 2014, the 27-year-old defender’s career took a major hit, as he was forced to exit the Theatre of Dreams.

In a recent interview with ESPN, Rafael revealed: “When it was announced that Van Gaal was taking over, four or five people, including players, called me to say that he doesn’t like Brazilian players. They pointed out what had happened with Rivaldo at Barcelona, but I didn’t believe it.

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“In his first season, Van Gaal called me to his office and said: ‘You can leave. The meeting lasted one minute. That was it: ‘You can leave.’ It took time for me to go, but I was desperate to leave when I did, and that saddens me because I loved everything about Manchester United.”

Rafael went on to say: “Van Gaal is not a bad coach, but I didn’t like his character.”


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The Brazil international joined Ligue 1 giants Olympique Lyonnais in 2015 after playing a total of just six league games under the Dutch gaffer.

His final match in a United shirt was an FA Cup tie against Yeovil Town, in which he suffered an injury, which ultimately led to his departure from Old Trafford.

Meanwhile, after failing to make a mark in England’s top flight, Van Gaal was also sacked in 2016, and he hasn’t managed since then.

His poor and rather boring style of play was criticised massively by the Old Trafford faithful, however, the 66-year-old tactician did win the FA Cup, his first and only piece of silverware with the Red Devils.

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