Rafael da Silva fels Louis van Gaal didn’t like him and hinted his nationality might have played a part in his departure from Manchester United.
The Brazilian right back left the club to join Lyon this summer after seven years at Old Trafford. Van Gaal had a very public feud with Rivaldo at Barcelona, who was the best player in the world at the time, Giovanni and sold Lucio from Bayern Munich. Rafael insinuated that perhaps there was a trend emerging.
He suffered three separate injuries last season that ruled him out for 15 games in total. Antonio Valencia played as his replacement and gained Van Gaal’s trust, finishing the season in the position with Rafael getting very little game time.
Rafael told Globo Esporto: “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.”
There is reason to believe that Rafael’s demise was borne in no small part due to his inconsistency and over-eagerness in tight situations.
He was a stalwart for the club in some respects but the frustration watching the 25-year-old play was unbearable at times and not knowing what you are going to get from a position that needs to be dependable can be tough to watch.
United have revamped their defence, brought in new left and right-backs and are currently in the market for a new centre half because the team that Sir Alex Ferguson left was an ageing one.
He left a team that worked for him using his tactics but was never going to work for a new manager. Rafael is just another casualty of the turnaround that has also seen Danny Welbeck, Nani and Robin van Persie leave the club.