Earlier this evening, the Olympic Football Squad for Brazil was announced. Manchester United supporters will be happy to see Rafael da Silva has been selected. This will mean he will not travel on the pre-season tour of South Africa, China, Norway, Sweden and Germany. He will stay in England for the summer, which will mean he is likely to be fresh for the start of the season, as the Olympic games, will in fact be his pre-season.
The Brazilian right-back looked very good for Manchester United last season and linked up very well with Valencia. He does seem to throw himself into some bad tackles, which have hampered his ability in some ways. His twin, Fabio was omitted from the Brazil squad for this summers games!
The Brazil team will be hot favourites for gold this summer as they have announced a very strong squad. Nearly all are known and have the ability to take medals back to Brazil after the tournament.
Goalkeepers: Rafael Cabral (Santos) and Neto (Fiorentina)
Defenders: Marcelo (Real Madrid), Rafael da Silva (Manchester United), Danilo (FC Porto), Alex Sandro (FC Porto), Thiago Silva (AC Milan), Juan (Inter Milan) and Bruno (Sao Paulo)
Midfielders: Romulo (Vasco da Gamma), Ganso (Santos), Oscar (Internacional), Sandro (Tottenham Hotspur) and Lucas (Sao Paulo).
Forwards: Neymar (Santos), Alexandre Pato (AC Milan), Leandro Damiao (Internacional) and Hulk (FC Porto)
Rafael will certainly be able to make a name for himself during the tournament if he can cement his place at right-back and play to his ability. When he reads the game and links well with other players, Rafael has the potential to be one of the best players on the pitch. If he can do this during the Olympics and carry on the form at Manchester United, he will become an Old Trafford legend.
Brazil play a warm-up match with Team GB in Middlesbrough's Riverside Stadium, on Friday 20th July 2012, KO 19:45 GMT
Rafael has made a total of 90 appearances, scoring twice in all competitions for Manchester United since he signed from Fluminense back in the summer of 2008. He recently made the grade for the senior Brazil side, make two appearances so far. The future looks good for Brazil, but better still if Rafael finds his form and continues to develop it at Old Trafford, the future looks just as good for the Red Devils.
Here is a video showing some of Rafael's best moments at Manchester United (Source: YouTube user KhushalRoxas)
We wish Rafael luck for the Olympics and an injury free run of matches. Hopefully he will return to Old Trafford after the Olympics, fit and raring to go for the new season.
By Paul Bienkowski