Former Manchester United right back Rafael has finally spoken about his time at Manchester United.
The Brazilian completed a permanent move to Lyon this summer and reflected on his time at Old Trafford, under three different managers.
Rafael claimed that he enjoyed the best days of his career under the tutelage of Sir Alex Ferguson, who was very supportive and wished him luck. He also claimed that he enjoyed a great relationship with Ferguson and won the title with him.
“Ferguson even called to wish me good luck. I had a very good relationship with him, he helped me a lot in Manchester, and always did everything to help me. He signed me when I was 16, I don’t even know what to say.
Rafael did not comment on David Moyes as a manager because of the little time they spent together at United. However, the Brazilian did comment on Van Gaal and said that the Dutchman did not like him.
“I won’t talk much about the relationship with Moyes, because it was too little, less than a year. And with Van Gaal the relationship was normal. He had his opinions, his thoughts, Everyone has their opinion. A manager is a manager. I always respected it and I will always respect it.
The full back also claimed that he is aware of Van Gaal’s dislike towards Brazilians, but was not sure if that was the reason behind his departure.
Rafael said “I don’t know, sincerely. I don’t know what to say about that, because I was the only one, since Anderson left before.
I know this history that he doesn’t like Brazilians, but I can’t say: “Oh, he doesn’t like Brazilians”.
I know that he didn’t like me, but if that’s because I’m Brazilian, I don’t know.”
Rafael says that Fergie leaving the club was a big blow for him and that he fell down the pecking orders after Van Gaal arrived.
“I did the complete season, when he (Ferguson) left. In 2012/13 I played almost every game, it was my best season at United, we were even champions. And that’s when they changed the manager. That change was fatal for me. I was going well, then Ferguson left. That’s what changed, so Valencia started playing as a right-back for Van Gaal. He’s also a great player, but I was doing well in that position.”
Van Gaal has been previously accused of having a bias against Brazilians and it would be rather shocking if that was the reason why Rafael was moved on. However, there is no concrete evidence and there is little point in speculating and making unreasonable assumptions.