Van Gaal hails ‘fantastic’ attitude of Rafael after injury

by Sam Peoples

Louis van Gaal reserved special praise for Rafael after the Brazilian continued to play against Yeovil Town despite suffering a fractured cheekbone.

Rafael had a clash of heads early on in the game but was only substituted at half-time with his injury and Van Gaal praised his ‘fantastic’ attitude.

“Rafael has an injury, a fracture of his bone,” Van Gaal told reporter after the game.

“So it was fantastic that he had the guts that he could play through but I had to change him.

“He played through the pain because in the last few weeks he hasn’t played much but he now can play he is injured.

“He has a fantastic mentality Rafa, he is unbelievable.

“I don’t know how it happened. I will have to watch the video, I cannot say.”

If there is one thing Rafael has got in abundance it is passion and determination, something which is typified by his desire to keep playing with a fractured cheekbone having made his first start for Man United in some time.

Van Gaal’s public appraisal of Rafael is something which should boost the Brazilian’s confidence given the rumours that started at the beginning of the season which suggested Van Gaal was happy for Rafael to leave United.

At this stage, it isn’t known whether Rafael will be sidelined with his injury or whether he will be able to play with a protective face mask on.

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