Rafael has been nominated by Sambafoot.com in their annual Samba Gold award for the best Brazilian footballer playing in Europe.
There is really tough competition from the likes of Shakhtar Donetsk pair Willian and Fernandinho, Chelsea’s Ramires and Zenit St. Petersburg’s Hulk but Rafael has been one of Manchester United’s star performers in 2012.
It is unusual for defenders to receive awards like this as goalscorers are generally in the limelight more often but this award has been dominated by defenders in recent years. Last year, AC Milan defender Thiago Silva won the award and Inter Milan’s Maicon won it back in 2010, so who is to say that the 2012 award can’t go to Rafael.
He has easily been one of the most improved players at Manchester United in the calendar year of 2012, eradicating the bad temper that marred his decision making and has moulded himself into one of the most formidable right backs in the league.
To vote for Rafael, click here. Voting is open until December 30.