Ah, Rafael da Silva. A full-back that will always hold a place in Manchester United fans’ hearts.
The right-back was one of a small number of overseas players who instantly understood what it meant to play for the Old Trafford club. From day one, he became a favourite amongst the terraces.
Rafa won absolutely everything there is to win as a United player, while always wearing his heart on his sleeve.
But, he had to move on as Louis van Gaal decided to go forward with Matteo Darmian and Antonio Valencia in the full-back slot…
That hasn’t dampened his love for United, though. Last night, he was instrumental in Lyon’s victory over Manchester City at The Etihad. Following the victory, Rafael further endeared himself to the United fans with some excellent words…
“Everybody knows I’m a Man United supporter. To come here and win at City is very good for me. I don’t know if they underestimated us. Maybe. Maybe they thought we are not very good in Ligue 1. Maybe they looked at the videos and said “they don’t have good confidence” Rafael is quoted as saying by the BBC’s Simon Stone.
He has it exactly right. City were expecting to walk over Lyon. In fact, the hosts were second best for the majority. Rafael, and another former United player, Memphis Depay, had a huge role in the win. They’ll be hoping to repeat the feat in the return leg in the final match of the group stage.
This is what I love about football. You always have a second chance. Rafael has grown into his role as Lyon’s right-back. He deserves immense credit for that – particularly after struggling to adapt at first.