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Red boy wonders fire da Silva salvo
Published : 24 Sep 2009 10:17:13
RAFAEL and Fabio da Silva have told Sir Alex Ferguson they can emulate two of Brazil's greatest players in Roberto Carlos and Cafu. Ferguson long made covetous glances at the legendary full-backs during his time at United - but never managed to bring them to Old Trafford. But the Da Silva twins are convinced they can be the answer to the left and right of United's defence for years to come. And the teenagers say their dream is to replicate the success of their countrymen, who won three World Cups and four Champions Leagues between them. "It was always our ambition to become as good a player as Roberto Carlos - he was our hero," said Fabio. "He and Cafu are the best full-backs there have ever been. "We watched a lot of football when we were younger - we supported Botafogo, but we always used to be Manchester United whenever we played football games on the computer." Rafael added: "Whenever I used to blow the candles out on my birthday cake my wish was always to become a footballer. "We loved playing the game and, as youngsters, we were very strong runners. A guy called Zezinho, who was a coach of a local team, saw us and thought we both had potential." Former United academy manager, Les Kershaw, spotted the pair playing for Fluminese in a youth tournament in Hong Kong in 2005. Despite having to wait until they were 18 to get international clearance to make their debuts for United, the pair have made a stunning impact on the Premier League. Rafael, in particular, seized his chance after injuries to Wes Brown and Gary Neville last season, picking up winners' medals in the Club World Cup and Carling Cup. And he has got the taste for success, eyeing more trophies with United. "We were very close to winning the Champions League and even though I missed the Carling Cup final through injury, I still feel like a champion because I played in every other game in the competition. "I hope I can play my part in helping the team win even more trophies this season. "It's been fantastic to be involved with the first team and I think we both developed our games a lot last season." Fabio's appearances were limited last season because of a shoulder injury, but this term it has been his brother who has been on the treatment table. But Fabio - who was the leading scorer in the 2007 Under-17 World Cup - insists he feels no pressure to emulate Rafael. "I knew I had to perform to my best," he said. "I was really happy that my brother had done so well and played some great football, and I wanted to be able to do the same. "It spurred me on and I was just pleased to eventually get my chance because being injured had been so frustrating."