It feels like a long time ago that Fabio Da Silva had ousted his twin brother out of the Manchester United team to claim a starting place in the Champions League final against Barcelona at Wembley.

It was in fact only May of 2011 but fast forward to the present day and the Brazilian finds himself out on loan at basement battlers Queens Park Rangers, having failed to kick on from that Champions League final outing, only managing 16 starts in all competitions during the 2011/12 season that followed.

It's a tale that somewhat sums up the full-backs' Old Trafford career. Having agreed to join United with his brother from Fluminense, Fabio was the name on everyone’s lips; the captain of Brazil under-17s who could play in defence or midfield, and was believed to have more flair and natural ability than his twin Rafael. 

It was Rafael who got his chance first however, impressing players, coaches and fans alike with his fight and tenacity while his brother had to wait almost a year to make his debut due to injury.

Whilst Rafael has gone on to become first choice right-back at United, his brother has taken the opportunity to gain Premier League experience elsewhere and Fabio acknowledges in an interview with the Independent that it is an important move for the both of them.

"We spoke about this [splitting] when we were 12 years old. We would say: "One day we are going to split because we cannot be together for ever". I knew it was going to happen. I just didn't know when. Last year it happened, this was good."

"Now we have split, it's better. I tell you, when me and him play together we look at each other. When I make a mistake I'm not saying he feels – he doesn't lose confidence but he gets less [diminished] a little bit.

"Now [this season] when he plays and he has a good game and another good game he gets confidence. When I was there sometimes I was not playing or not playing well. Maybe he feels that I am down . . . because we lived together [in Manchester]. 

"Sometimes when he plays he is happy. Sometimes when I play I am happy. Now we are getting more mature. He is there. I am here.

"Now we understand each other more. This is football. We are different. He is there, I am here. When we are together we discuss this. I say, "When I play bad you don't have to be unhappy."

"We discuss everything together. He knew I wanted to leave United to play more games. To play consistently. He agrees with me. He thinks it's good for me to leave United to play more football. I enjoy it. I know it hasn't been a good season for Queens Park Rangers but I try to improve and to help."

Reflecting on the Champions League final, he again acknowledges his brother.

"He [Rafael] was destroyed because he really wanted to play. For me, of course, it was unbelievable to play in the final but I knew he was not happy. I knew he wanted to play. 

"Of course it didn't change my game. I feel for him. I felt sorry for him. I didn't feel complete because of this, but it was still fantastic."

With Patrice Evra in the autumn of his career, Fabio will be focussed on returning to Old Trafford and experiencing more nights like the one at Wembley - only this time alongside his brother.


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