Submitted on Wed, 06/02/2021 - 11:04

Istanbul Basaksehir right-back Rafael da Silva is a Brazilian international following his two caps for the senior team two decades ago. His international journey with Brazil started with the u-17 team before he was part of the u-23 squad to the 2012 London Olympic Games. His debut for the senior team came shortly before the Olympics.

The former Fluminense and Lyon defender could have played for Portugal despite representing Brazil at the u-17 level. Rafael da Silva played 12 times for the Brazil u-17s in 2012. He was part of the Brazilian squad to the 2007 u-17 FIFA World Cup tournament in South Korea.

Rafael was approached by then Portugal national team manager Carlos Queiroz over the possibility of him representing Portugal at senior national team level and the right-sided defender indicated willingness to feature for the Portuguese team if he was not selected by Brazil. Rafael da Silva and his twin brother, Fabio da Silva were eligible to represent Portugal through their Portuguese citizenship status. On his part, Fabio was adamant that it was the Brazilian national team or nothing.

Brazil extended a senior team invitation to Rafael da Silva for the first time on July 26, 2010. He was included in the squad for the international friendly with the United States of America on August 10 but he was unable to make his debut. Brazil was managed by Mano Menezes during that period.

Rafael was left out of the Brazil squad for the international friendlies in May and June 2012 before the injury to Dani Alves opened up an invitation for him. He came on as a substitute for Danilo against Denmark on May 26, 2012. The Brazilian player was on the books of Premier League giants Manchester United when he made his debut for the five-time champions.

Brazilian national team defender Rafael was then part of the team that won silver medal at the London 2012 Olympic Games.

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