UTD Unscripted: Rafael da Silva on his magical journey with brother Fabio at Man United


Back when we moved from Fluminense to United, we were a big help for each other because, of course, it was completely different to what we knew. Leaving Rio de Janeiro to go to Manchester meant that we had the rain and the cold, plus the cultures of Brazil and Manchester are totally different, and that was a bit of a shock for us. Straight away, one thing I really liked was that in Manchester we were able to live without being judged too much. In Brazil you are always judged and questioned, no privacy, so it was nice to be able to get away from that.

We had a lot of help and the club made it easy for us, but the most important thing was that we had each other, and it was just a very simple situation: it was two young players going to the best football club in the world. Nothing else mattered. Once we had a little bit of time and we had dealt with the emotion of the move and mixed in with the squad, it was amazing for us.

To be honest – and I have talked to my brother about this many times – if we were to play together for United today, I think we would enjoy it a lot more. We would have much more fun than we did. Whenever we played together in the United team, we were so nervous for each other, so tense, that we just didn’t enjoy it. I think we were just thinking about each other as well as ourselves. My brother is somebody who I care for more than myself, so when we played together I would be worrying if he made a mistake and he would be the same about me.

When I was on the bench and he was playing, it was easy for me! Like the 2011 Champions League final against Barcelona, my brother started and I didn’t, but I was just so emotional for my brother to be out there playing on the pitch in that game. For everything bad that had happened with injuries, he didn’t get to play often for United, but he started a Champions League final and I was just so happy for him. Of course, I was sad that I wasn’t playing, but I couldn’t be sad in that moment because my brother was on the pitch. It was impossible. I was just so happy for him even though I missed such a huge game. But when we were both on the pitch together it was different.


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