Rafael da Silva: I love Manchester United but I was so desperate to leave

Rafael da Silva: I love Manchester United but I was so desperate to leave

Manchester United favourite Rafael da Silva has explained why he was so desperate to leave his beloved former club during Louis van Gaal‘s reign.

The Dutch manager’s ill fated tenure didn’t end before the Brazilian departed with many fans upset to see one of their stars leave.

The Da Silva twins were loved by United fans and it still pains many that they’re no longer featuring for the club as intended.

The pair were expected to be the future for the club’s full-back spots but for various reasons had to leave though the current Lyon man explained why he left.

Van Gaal was the boss at the time and was seeking to reshuffle the deck so to speak, getting rid of many of the Red Devils who were a part of the Sir Alex Ferguson era.

According to Metro, Rafael said to ESPN: “Van Gaal is not a bad coach, but I didn’t like his character. One day, I was in the canteen waiting to eat. Van Gaal used to speak to us after we’d eaten each day.

“I had a head injury after a game at Yeovil — one of the few games I played in that season – and I was touching my injury. After three or four seconds, he touched my head and said: ‘Why don’t you respect me?’

“I stood up and said: ‘I always respect you. I’ve never said anything which was disrespectful to you.’ I am a patient guy, but I got angry then. I had done nothing wrong.

“Antonio [Valencia] later said to me: ‘You’re not going to play again.’ Players didn’t speak back to Van Gaal. Antonio was almost right; I barely played again.

“I love Manchester United, but I was so desperate to leave United. Only one man did that because I liked everything about the place. I couldn’t handle him anymore.

“In his first season, Van Gaal called me to his office and said: ‘You can leave.’ The meeting lasted one minute. That was it: ‘You can leave.’ It took time for me to go, but I was desperate to leave when I did, and that saddens me because I loved everything about Manchester United.”

Rafael da Silva has featured fairly frequently for Lyon since joining them and is attempting to build a career for himself post Manchester United.

There are certainly questions of what could have been in terms of the twins but the Ligue 1 star has admitted he could return to his former side as a staff member.

United have and should continue to have a great tradition of hiring former players as staff with Michael Carrick set to become a coach after he retires this summer.

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Freelance football writer and Football Manager enthusiast. Unhealthy obsession with tactics, debates and chasing after a ball with 21 other people.