July 23rd 2005- Fabio’s Fluminise Side Storm The Nike Cup in Hong Kong
After seeing the Brazilian twins guide their side to victory over Paris Saint Germain in the Final, Manchester United scout, Les Kershaw, rings Sir Alex with a glowing report:
“They remind me of two little whippets, these two stood out straight away. What impressed me most was the way that, when they got knocked down, they just got straight back up again and got on with it. They were like bouncing balls . . . very, very quick. You didn’t have to be a special scout to notice them. I rang the manager and said, ‘There are twins here who are just unbelievable.”
August 1st 2005- Time To Shine
Manchester United invite the twins to train in Manchester, at the same time as Arsenal offer them a trial but their mother convinces them to stay at the club and show loyalty to Fluminese.
February 1st 2007- Fee’s Agreed
A formal agreement is made between United and Fluminese, confirming the transfer of the players to Old Trafford for a fee of £5.2 million.
August 18th 2007- World Cup Success
Fabio captains his team, and scores two goals, in Brazil’s FIFA U17 World Cup campaign.
February 1st 2008- Moving House
The Twins move to Manchester.
July 9th 2008- Squad Numbers
Rafael and Fabio Da Silva are registered as Manchester United players on their 18th Birthday and are given the squad numbers, 21 and 20 respectively.
August 4th 2008 – da Silva twins make their debuts in pre-season friendly
After a long wait, fans finally get to see for themselves the hype about Rafael and Fabio da Silva as they make their debuts in a pre-season friendly against Peterborough. Before the game, it was adjudged to be common knowledge amongst fans, that Fabio was the higher rated of the two, after starring as captain in the Fifa U17’s world cup for Brazil.
He has to settle for a place on the bench as Rafael starts at Right back for the very first time in a Manchester United shirt. He impresses the fans with his eagerness to attack all the time, and his searing pace. Part II of the double attack enters the fray as Fabio replaces Evra at Left back in the 2nd half.
August 17th 2008- Rafael da Silva makes Premier League debut
In the first match of the 2008/09 premier league season, Rafael comes on as a late substitute against Newcastle at Old Trafford. He plays for the last 10 minutes in his debut game.
September 23rd 2008- Carling Cup bow for Rafael da Silva
Rafael makes his debut in the Carling cup as Man United progress through to the next round courtesy of a 3-1 home win against Middlesbrough .
September 30th 2008- Rafael da Silva starts his first Champions League match for the club.
He is a constant attacking threat down the right flank, as Manchester United cruise to a 3-0 away victory. Rafael leaves with his reputation enhanced, however also earning a yellow card for his troubles.
November 8th 2008 – Good and Bad news for Rafael da Silva
The Brazilian right back comes on for Gary Neville after 60 minutes in a premier league game against Arsenal. He gets his first goal for the club and this is what he had to say about it:
“The ball just came to me and I thought ‘Shoot’. At the time I didn’t feel a thing, it didn’t click that I’d scored against Arsenal. Afterwards though it was great”.
However it wasn’t all smiles as Rafael da Silva suffers his first loss for Manchester United in a 2-1 defeat to Arsenal.
January 7th 2009 – Derby 1-0 Manchester United
Rafael da Silva and Manchester United lose the first leg of the Carling Cup semi final with a 1-0 away defeat to Derby County. To add insult to injury, Rafael picks up another yellow card.
January 20th 2009- Rafael da Silva Injury blow
Manchester United beat Derby county 4-3 on aggregate after the 2nd leg of the CC semi final. However, Rafael is taken off just before half time with an injury. Sir Alex confirms after the game:
“Rafael has a hamstring injury and he’ll be out for a few weeks.”
January 24th 2009- Fabio da Silva makes his long awaited competitive debut for Manchester United
United fans had to wait a while, but they finally get to see Fabio da Silva on the pitch again as he starts in 2-1 triumph at home against Tottenham. Fabio makes a big impact as an attacking left back, before coming off injured in the 53rd minute to be replaced by Richard Eckersley
February 8th 2009 – The return of Rafael da Silva
Rafael makes his return from injury in the Premier League. He starts in a 1-0 away win against West Ham in which Ryan Giggs scores the winner.
April 19th 2009 – The twins start in the same line-up for the first time in a Manchester United shirt
Rafael and Fabio da Silva start for Manchester United in a vitally important FA Cup Semi final match against Everton at Wembley. It is heartbreak for the young Brazilian twins as Manchester United go crashing out on penalties.
April 27th 2009- Rafael Signs New Deal
Rafael is rewarded for his fine form with a 2 year contract extension which will keep him at Old Trafford until July 2013. Upon signing the contract, Sir Alex said that:
“Everyone at the club has been very impressed and excited by his first year as a professional, his enthusiasm and the adventurous way he plays is typical of a Manchester United player and we are delighted that he has signed a new contract.”
May 24th 2009 – Hull 0-1 Man United on the last day of the Premier League
Rafael da Silva starts the last game of the season, knowing that Manchester United were already crowned Premier League champions. He receives his first premiership winners medal for the club.
September 23rd 2009- Fabio da Silva sees Red
After getting his first start in the premier league earlier in the season against Birmingham City, Fabio starts in a 1-0 Carling Cup win against Wolves. However, Fabio sees red after bringing down a wolves player who would’ve otherwise been through on goal. Sir Alex states after the game:
“You can’t argue with the red card, but Fabio is only 18 and this experience will help him grow.”
December 30th 2009 – Rafael gets on the Score Sheet again.
January 3rd 2010 – Man United crash out to Leeds in the FA Cup
More heartbreak for Fabio da Silva following his first red card a few months before as Manchester united suffer a shock 1-0 home loss to Leeds in the FA Cup.
April 2nd 2010- Fabio Pens Contract Till 2014
Having taken longer to establish himself than his brother, Fabio is belatedly rewarded with a new improved contract that will keep him at Old Trafford, until July 2014, as Sir Alex described:
“Fabio as a natural footballer who will make a fine Manchester United player in the years to come, he has had some bad luck with injuries but he will make a fine Manchester United player.”
April 7th 2010 – Man Utd 3 – 2 Bayern Munich (agg 4 – 4)
Rafael is sent off as Manchester United, from what looked like a position of authority, lost their heads and suffered a cruel conclusion. Rafael later describes the red card as the worst moment in his career:
“It was the worst experience I’ve had in all my life. That night I learnt that in football you can go from heaven to hell in a matter of minutes. I was playing really well in the first half and then… well, you know what happened. “If I hadn’t have been sent off we almost certainly would have won the match and my life would be much easier now. It would have taken a lot of weight off my shoulders.”Now I feel like I have to prove myself all over again and show everybody I’m capable of being a Manchester United player.”
August 8th 2010 – Man Utd win the FA Community shield
Fabio da Silva starts off the new campaign in fine fashion with Manchester United as they beat Chelsea 3-1 in the FA Community shield. Fabio is naturally delighted as he picks up his first piece of Silverware with the club.
Fabio’s First PL Medal, Rafael’s Second
November 27th 2010 – Manchester United 7-1 Blackburn
Rafael da Silva starts in the premier league, as he is part of the side that hammers Blackburn 7-1 to record an emphatic victory and move United 2 points clear of Arsenal in the league. Rafael plays the whole 90 minutes.
January 16th 2011 – Rafael sees red for the 2nd time in his career
In a premier league stalemate away to Spurs, Rafael was harshly sent off for a second bookable offence after tripping Assou-Ekotto. Sir Alex had this to say after the game:
“I don’t need to discuss it. You can see it for yourself. I don’t have to discuss the referee. It’s out of my bounds now, thank God.”
February 26th 2011 – Fabio scores his first goal for Manchester United.
Coming on as a late substitute for Nani, against Wigan Athletic, Fabio finds the back of the net by clipping a shot inside the near post after being set up by a floated cross from Darren Fletcher. Man United end up winning the game 4-0.
March 12th 2011 – Fabio gets his 2nd Manchester United goal and first at Old Trafford.
Man United outclass Arsenal in the FA Cup with a fairly comfortable 2-0 victory to progress to the Semi finals. The da Silva twins started the game on the wings and their youthful tenacity and willingness to work hard was a feature throughout the game. Their tireless work was richly rewarded as Fabio and Rafael da Silva both combine to see Fabio score the 2nd goal of his Manchester United career.
May 28th 2011 – Fabio starts in the 2011 Champions League final
It was the biggest match of Fabio’s short career so far. The champions league final against arguably the best club side in the world. Barcelona. The night ended in disappointment for Fabio da Silva and the rest of the Manchester United team as they lose 3-1 after 90 minutes.
Written by Guest Writer, Demi, who you can follow on Twitter here.