Former Manchester United defender Rafael has revealed Wayne Rooney told him that Steven Gerrard “hated” him and his twin brother Fabio, calling them ‘p*****’.
Rafael, 31, strutted his stuff at Old Trafford for seven years between 2008 and 2015, winning three Premier League titles in that time, as well as being involved in eight derbies against Liverpool, one of which he cancelled out Gerrard’s opener with a famous curling effort at Anfield as Man Utd won 2-1 in 2012.
The two-capped Brazil international was a sturdy and reliable right-back without ever really rising to the same illustrious heights as previous No. 2s at Old Trafford, but he made nearly 200 appearances for the club and mopped up a nifty collection of medals.
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Now at Istanbul Basaksehir, the 31-year-old has revealed what Liverpool legend Gerrard thought of him and his twin brother, Fabio, with the rivalry between the Merseyside club and their close adversaries in the North West well-chronicled.
Rafael told The Athletic: “Wayne Rooney told us that Steven Gerrard hated us.
“He said that Gerrard told him on international duty, ‘Those twins, they are p*****!’.
“We never did anything to him but wear a different shade of red. I guess that’s all it takes. And to be honest, I understood what he meant. The feeling was mutual.”
Rafael & Fabio: Man Utd treated us like family
The full-back twins went on express their gratitude to Man Utd, who first brought the dynamic duo over to England in 2008, despite neither player having made an appearance for boyhood club Fluminense in Rio de Janeiro. An academy responsible for the likes of Marcelo and Thiago Silva.
Rafael was the more prominent Da Silva to feature under Sir Alex Ferguson, but the esteemed Scot entrusted Fabio with a starting berth in the 2011 Champions League final against Barcelona at Wembley, in which Pep Guardiola’s side sealed a historic 3-1 win in London.
The pair detailed their appreciation towards the club for giving them a chance to showcase their talents.
“Manchester changed our lives,” says Fabio.
“We were such young boys when we arrived. They really helped us. That’s why we are so grateful for everything they did for us.”
“The one thing about United is you have that feeling,” Rafael added.
“It’s special, they treat you like family: ‘OK, you are one of us now, we are going to do everything to help you’. Even in bad moments, they always trusted us.”