Rafael reveals what happened when Ferguson couldn't tell the difference between him and Fabio

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Manchester United supporters thought Sir Alex Ferguson had stumbled upon the new Phil and Gary Neville when he brought the Da Silva twins to Old Trafford in 2007.

Signed from Fluminense, Rafael and Fabio - as they were more commonly known - didn't go on to enjoy quite the same success as their Class of 92 predecessors but they were still popular figures for the Red Devils.

Fabio made 56 appearances for United before moving to Cardiff in 2014, meanwhile Rafael was a much more prominent figure during Ferguson's reign and played 169 times.

Now at Lyon, Rafael has been reflecting on his time at Old Trafford in an interview with FourFourTwo.

And he has revealed that it wasn't just us who struggled to tell the difference between him and his twin when their names weren't on the back of their shirts.

According to the 27-year-old, Ferguson frequently confused them for one another during training.

“It happened many, many times,” Rafael said, as per The Mirror.

“It wasn’t rare that before training he’d look at me and say: ‘Come on, go to the left wing.’

"When that happened, I used to just look at him. Then he’d go: ‘I meant right wing, Rafael!’ It’s funny to remember it – Fergie is a special person in my life.


“He’s the best manager I’ve ever worked with, no doubt. I learned so many things from him and I will be grateful for that forever. He’d always have some good advice to tell you at training.

"He knew exactly how to deal with each of his players – ones who’d improve with some compliments and motivation, and ones he’d need to be severe with. That, plus his knowledge of the game, made him the best.”

Rafael was sold to current club Lyon by Louis van Gaal in 2015, having won the Premier League three times and the League Cup twice.

Juventus v Olympique Lyonnais - UEFA Champions League

He still follows his old team closely and, now under the guidance of Jose Mourinho, expects the Red Devils to challenge for the title.

The right-back added: “I was very happy [at United] and grew up both as a man and as a player, too.

“I feel confident after the signings they’ve made – I hope they will become Premier League champions this season."

Rafael Da Silva
Fabio Da Silva
Ryan Giggs
Gary Neville

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