Rafael earns his richly deserved praise

by Sam Peoples

“Since I arrived here, the fans have been amazing, singing songs for me or stopping me and telling me I’m a true Red. I’ve been coming here to training since I was 15 years old, a long time, so I feel like I am a true Red.” Rafael

Sir Alex Ferguson has heaped praise on Rafael in the pre-match press conference today ahead and rightly so as the Brazilian has been one of our outstanding performers so far this season.

He has made the right back position his own with assured performances in tough games and has been one of our most consistent players.

Speaking about Rafael, Sir Alex said: “He is maturing and learning all the time. Rafael has all the ingredients of a great player.

“He is blessed with great enthusiasm, skill and speed. He was quite impulsive and tended to over-commit himself.

“We have gone over it a few times but, bit by bit, it is all coming together and he was easily our best player Saturday.”

Up until last years breakthrough, Rafael was renowned for his attacking prowess that more often than not led to him being out of position. His mistimed tackles and lack of discipline raised questions among fans about whether or not he had what it takes to make it at Manchester United, so to see him start the season with such quality is a testament to the talent that brought him to Old Trafford.

He has been at United for seven years now since joining from Fluminese and a clear passion of playing football for Manchester United are characteristics that have made him so popular.

It’s obvious that taking part in the London 2012 Olympic games has really set his head firmly on his shoulders and we are reaping the rewards of that.

Speaking about his season so far, Rafael said: “I do think they look at me differently now. The way I play for United has changed a little bit and I have scored some goals as well.

“But mature is the word. I always want the ball. Now I read the game more and know what the opposing player is going to do.

“It is a big time for me. The World Cup is the big competition for Brazil and all the fans expect us to win.

“I am really looking forward to being there.”

Rafael has made an absolutely superb start to the Premier League season after rightfully winning Manchester United’s Player of the Month for September and September’s Goal of the Month award for his strike against Liverpool at Anfield.

If he can continue in the rich vein of form that he has shown so far, then Rafael’s name could be guaranteed on the team sheet at Old Trafford for seasons to come.

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