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Rafael’s a brand new man

by Sam Peoples

Rafael has been nothing short of superb this season for Manchester United. The 22-year-old has established himself as one of the first names on the team sheet with his outstanding performances that have won him a lot of plaudits.

Speaking to Manutd.com, he said: “It’s been a great year for me.

“I feel like I have grown up a lot and that I am maturing – my daughter was born this year which has helped me a lot too. And on the pitch I have been able to play a lot of games. So I’ve had a lot of good moments not just in football but in life this year.

“Playing games week in, week out helps you feel more comfortable and confident on the pitch and I’m pleased I’ve been able to do that this season.

“I feel more experienced and like I am growing as a player and a person. I was only 18 when I first came here, I was just a boy. Some people may think I am still young and still a boy but now I feel like I am a man.” Rafael

It could of gone completely the other way for Rafael. After his mistake in the 2012 Olympics final against Mexico and Fabio leaving Manchester United on loan to QPR, he could of buried his head in the sand. It would of been very easy to. But, instead, he kicked on and used it as a platform to build on.

The freedom of knowing his twin brother Fabio was getting opportunities at QPR seemed to lift him and it was obvious the Olympics helped Rafael. He is a far more rounded player now, both in defence and attack, and is certainly one of Manchester United’s most improved players, arguably the player of the season so far but Rafael isn’t content with just personal accolades.

He continued: “My target for 2013 is like every player – we want to win trophies. When you’re at this club that has to be your focus, we all want to win. And personally I want to play as many games as I can and be consistent in my performances.

“When you get into January you know the really important time in the season is not far away and there will be big game after big game. Of course, every game is important but after Christmas they become massive matches. Hopefully we can do well.”

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