The first piece of good news from the transfer window has been released. Rafael has decided to commit his long-term future to the club until 2016.
“I am so happy to sign a new contract.
“I love playing for Manchester United, there is a great team spirit here and a real desire to win.
“My time here has been unbelievable; winning two league titles, a league cup and a Club World Cup has made me hungry for more trophies. I would like to thank Sir Alex for his belief in me and I would also like to thank the fans for their support.”
Last season, he came on leaps and bounds as a player last season. His tackling improved massively with an average of 4.1 per game, second only to Faurlin of QPR (4.5), but it was his mentality and discipline that impressed me the most. Committing an average of only one foul per game, he only picked up two yellow cards over the whole Premier League season – a far cry from the unpredictable and volatile player who got red carded against Tottenham Hotspur the previous season.
Alongside his defensive improvements, the natural attacking ability of the Brazilian blossomed as he bagged himself four assists in the Premier League. The overlapping runs of Antonio Valencia and Rafael proved our most fruitful outfit from January onwards and he rightfully staked his claim to the starting berth at right-back.
With Fabio going out on loan, there will only be one twin playing at Old Trafford next season but from what we saw in the last campaign, Rafael is currently head and shoulders above his brother and it looks like the best is yet to come.
We will get to see him in action soon as he joins up with the Brazil Olympic squad that will take on Great Britain in a friendly on July 20.