Rafael, our Brazilian right back, full of flair, full of attacking ability and now full of consistent top quality performances. Whether Rafael wins Player of the Year is still to be seen, but he surely must win most improved.
The writing has been on the wall for a while that Rafael da Silva has had the makings and potential to be a top right back, but both he and his brother, Fabio, have shared more than just their looks. Both have struggled with maintaining their fitness and then regaining their form.
Rafael has also been accused of lacking the defensive prowess of other top right backs such as Gary Neville or City’s Pablo Zabaleta.
But since the back end of last season, Rafael has changed. He is more aware of his defensive duties whilst still possessing his attacking Brazilian flair. He seems to have a good understanding with Antonio Valencia who has had a poor season by his high standards of last year.
Rafael has also scored 2 contenders for goal of the season. Away at Liverpool where his left footed shot looped past Reina, and away at QPR where his right footed strike thundered past Julio Cesar.
Giving Rafa the number 2 shirt was a clear indication for Sir Alex that he was our first choice, and I for one always hope to see his name on the team sheet. His injury problems seem to be behind him and he seems far more mature. Maybe down to the fact that last year his wife gave birth to his daughter, but one thing is for sure, Rafael has been one of United’s best players this season.
Best moment: That screamer against QPR was brilliant to watch, the technique and power he put into it was superb and a definite contender for United goal of the season.