Up until last year, Rafael was a naive youngster. His mistimed tackles and lack of discipline raised questions among fans about whether or not he could cut the mustard at Manchester United, so to see him start the season with such quality is a testament to the talent that brought him to Old Trafford.
He has been at United for seven years now since joining from Fluminese and ever since he squared up with Carlos Tevez, he has been a real fans’ favourite. Ferocious tackles, committed defending and a clear passion of playing football for Manchester United are characteristics that have made him so popular, and it is something that Rafael appreciates.
“It’s great to win something voted by the fans”, he said. “The supporters have helped me since I came here and I’m very happy with that.
“Since I arrived here, the fans have been amazing, singing songs for me or stopping me and telling me I’m a true Red.
“I’ve been coming here to training since I was 15 years old, a long time, so I feel like I am a true Red.”
Rafael has made an absolutely superb start to the Premier League season after rightfully winning Manchester United’s Player of the Month for September and he could be up for a double award as his fantastic finish away at Anfield is in the running for September’s Goal of the Month award.
The young Brazilian is now one of the first names on the team sheet and he has grown into his own in the past 18 months as a player and is showing no signs of stopping.
Speaking about winning the Player of the Month award to Manutd.com, he said:
“I’m very happy to win this award, especially since I found out that defenders never win it.
“It’s just an honour to win, especially to beat Paul Scholes, and I’m very proud.
“It was a good month for me, very consistent, playing many games and of course scoring the goal at Liverpool was the high point for me. I think scoring at Anfield probably helped a lot with the voting!”