Rafael da Silva is still a popular player amongst the Manchester United fans despite leaving the club many years ago. The Brazilian fullback left Manchester United reluctantly under the Louis Van Gaalmanagerial era at the club six years ago.

Few people would have predicted that Rafael da Silva would leave the Red Devils as he has always been vocal about his love for the club. Manchester United had spotted him and his twin brother, Fabio da Silva, as teenagers while they were with Fluminense in the Brazilian league. They were both snapped up by Manchester United at the age of 17 and the club had to wait till they turned 18 before handing them professional contracts in 2008.

Rafael spent one season under Dutchman Van Gaal before he realised that the best thing for his career was an exit if he wants to continue to develop as a footballer. He was the first choice right-back by the time Van Gaal was made the manager in the summer of 2014, but the arrival of the new manager led to a significant decrease in his playing time. Rafael da Silva left Manchester United for French team Lyon to escape Van Gaal and a lack of playing time.

Despite leaving many years ago, Rafael da Silva is still a cult hero amongst the Manchester United faithfuls and media outlet Planet Football has given four reasons for this. The first reason is the way he made the right-back spot his own after club legend Gary Neville retired. The second reason is that the Brazilian is a passionate footballer who loves a scrap.

His goal against arch rivals Liverpool in September 2012 is another reason for the love shown to him by the Manchester United fans. A fourth reason is he’s always delighted when Manchester United get one over noisy neighbours Manchester City.