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Rafael da Silva

rafael.jpg

Rafael Pereira da Silva

Rafael's professional football career began with Fluminense in Brazil, where he played at youth level. Rafael and his brother Fábio were brought to the attention of Manchester United by club scout Les Kershaw in the summer of 2005 while playing for Fluminense in a youth tournament in Hong Kong.

He joined Manchester United in January 2008 and made his first appearance for the club in a friendly match against Peterborough United on 4 August. Rafael was registered in the club's senior squad for the 2008–09 season and was assigned the number 21 shirt previously worn by Dong Fangzhuo. He made his competitive debut on the opening day of the 2008–09 Premier League season, coming on as a second half substitute for Fraizer Campbell against Newcastle United.

Rafael made his first start for Manchester United on 23 September 2008, playing at right-back against Middlesbrough in the Third Round of the League Cup. His first start in European competition was away to Aalborg BK in the UEFA Champions League on 30 September. Selected ahead of Manchester United's first-choice right-backs, Gary Neville and Wes Brown, Rafael turned in an impressive performance, creating problems for the Danish side with his attacking play and two well hit shots before being substituted on 66 minutes due to injury.

He made his first Premier League start in Manchester United's 4–0 win at home to West Bromwich Albion on 18 October 2008, and also featured in Manchester United's 2-0 win over West Ham United, again at Old Trafford.

Source: Rafael da Silva (wikipedia)

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