Submitted on Sat, 06/26/2021 - 15:20

Istanbul Basaksehir defender Rafael da Silva was a cult hero with the Manchester United fans during his time at the club and he has remained a firm favourite amongst them despite leaving the club six years ago. Rafaelsigned for the Red Devils in 2008 and he spent more than seven years at the Theatre of Dreams before leaving the Old Trafford outfit in the summer of 2015. Manchester United signed Rafael da Silva alongside his twin brother, Fabio da Silva, from Brazilian Serie A outfit Fluminense.

Rafael da Silva would have stayed at Manchester United longer than he did if not for the appointment of Dutch tactician Louis Van Gaal who has an history with Brazilian players. Istanbul Basaksehir right-back Rafael confirmed in one of his interviews that he was informed about Van Gaal and his dislike towards players from Brazil.

Manchester United appointed Van Gaal as their new manager in the summer of 2014 Rafael played for just one season under him before leaving for French giants Lyon in search of regular playing time. The Brazilian player was not a regular in the Manchester United starting XI in his last season as a Red Devils player under Van Gaal. Let's examine three reasons why Manchester United fans loved Rafael da Silva during his time at the club.

The first reason was that he was an able replacement for club legend Gary Neville. Rafael da Silva became the first choice right-back at Manchester United after Neville retired from football. The Brazilian was nominated for the PFA Young Player of the Year in his first season at Manchester United. He won three Premier League titles during his time at the club.

The second reason is his aggressive and feisty style of player. Rafael da Silva was always ready to show that he has the stomach for the fight when things are not going his way.

The third reason is his goal against Liverpool in 2012. Any player that scores for Manchester United against arch rivals Liverpool is always a favourite amongst fans.

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