Rafael da Silva is a promising defender at Manchester United. Very much an attacking right back, he loves to bomb forward and is one of the best crossers of a ball at the club, but has nonetheless adapted well to the defensive demands of the English game, showing a real willingness to mix it physically and ever-improving positional awareness. Rafael arrived at Old Trafford in 2008, having first come to the Reds' attention at the 2005 Nike Cup where he starred alongside his twin brother Fabio for Fluminense. Little was expected of the teenager in his first season but he surprised everyone with the speed at which he forced himself into first-team contention, appearing in 28 games and winning Premier League and FIFA Club World Cup medals. Hampered by injury at the start of the following season, by the halfway mark he was back in contention for the starting berth on the right side of defence and has since established himself as a regular choice in that position. A former Brazil U17 international, Rafael received a first senior call-up for the August 2010 friendly against the USA. © 2011 - PFA Player Profiles
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