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 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.
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
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.
August 14th 2011- Promising Start for Fabio Against West Brom
Fabio made his first appearance of the season away at The Hawthorns during our 2-1 victory. Playing at left back, the Brazilian put in our best defensive performance whilst David De Gea continued his shaky start.
November 26th 2011- Newcastle 1- 1 United
Fabio made his first start of the season at right back during our away trip to St James Park. Keeping Jonas Gutierrez quiet all game, Fabio was an attacking threat during a pretty poor United display that saw us drop two points.
December 31st 2011- Rafael and Park in Central Midfield
Having to way until New Years Eve to make his first Premier League appearance of the season, due to injury, Rafael was surprisingly picked to start in CM due to a midfield crisis. Although he provided an assist and showed some attacking promise, his central partnership was largely chastised as one of the worst combinations ever and took a lot of the blame in the embarassing defeat. However, it was more down to a culmination of injuries with Carrick CB, Valencia RB and Welbeck LM too.
8th March 2012- Heavy Criticism Against Bilbao
United worked tirelessly to earn an equaliser against Bilbao courtesy of a 90th minute Wayne Rooney penalty. However, Rafael then proceeded to switch off totally and was entirely to blame as he simply let Iker Munian run past him after David De Gea parried a stinging shot away from goal- leading many to question his concentration levels.
15th April- United 4- 0 Villa
During a demolition of Aston Villa, the chemistry between Rafael and Valencia was obvious. Complimenting each others play, the pair of them ran riot down the right hand side and gave an indication of what the two could do together in the future.
22nd April- United 4-4 Everton
Against a tall Everton front line, the Brazilian struggled. Getting a lot of success down the wings, Rafael was partially at fault for at least half the goals. After such a great performance the week previously going forward, this match highlighted how he still has alot to learn defensively.
May 26th 2011- International Debut
Rafael finally made his senior international debut when he came on as a substitute against Denmark, leading many to speculate that the home World Cup in 2014 may just be perfect timing for him.
June 9th 2011- Brazil 3- 4 Argentina
Rafael played 78 minutes as Lionel Messi ran wild and scored a hat trick on neutral territory. Nonetheless, the young Brazlian did enough to earn his place in the London Olympics squad.
With Chelsea and others rumoured to be circling, United offered Rafael da Silva a new contract that will keep him at Old Trafford until 2016 with Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson describing Rafael as
“one of the club’s brightest young prospects” and tipped him to “become one of the best full backs in the world.”
“My time here has been unbelievable. Winning two league titles, a League Cup and a Club World Cup has made me hungry for more trophies.”
Mark Hughes announced the signing of Fabio on loan for a season where he is seen as a “good, young player” who they are looking forward to success with in the next season. However, it’s still uncertain how much game time he is likely to get and whether he will be playing at left back or right back. Either way, it has left United short and on the look out for a new left back this season, to cover Evra.
July 5th 2012- Olympic Gold?
Rafael’s place in the Brazlian squad was confirmed alongside the likes of Neymar and Co. The favourite to start at right back, a strong showing in this tournament will dramatically reduce the odds of him starting at the World Cup in two years time.
Written by Guest Writer, Demi, who you can follow on Twitter here.