Rafael da Silva believes he is starting to mature as a footballer after cementing his place in Manchester United’s starting eleven. The Brazilian full-back is hoping to be selected for his nations 2014 World Cup squad.
Rafael arrived at Old Trafford in 2008 from Fluminense with his twin brother Fabio da Silva. The pair were spotted as immediate prospects but Rafael has developed quicker.
Since the season began in August, Rafael has been one of our better performers at right back. Consistency proved to be a real difficulty for the 22-year-old in the past but he seems to be maturing as time goes on. As for Fabio, who was sent to Queens Park Rangers on-loan during the summer, things haven’t been going as well.
The Brazilian born defender feels he has developed his game after learning from mistakes. His most recent error came from a misplaced pass in the Olympic Games final defeat against Mexico.
“I do think they look at me differently now,” said Rafael. “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.”
Ferguson was full of praise for the full back: “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.”