Rafael Reveals The Strange Message He Received From Van Gaal
Rafael da Silva spent an illustrious seven years with Manchester United, winning three Premier League titles and helping his side reach the Champions League final twice.
During this time, the 27-year-old worked under three manager, but it his last boss, Louis van Gaal, that the player feels was the reason behind his departure to Lyon three years ago.
Andy Mitten of ESPN spoke to the Red Devils fan favourite about his time at Old Trafford - and the strange text message he received from van Gaal.
"When it was announced that Van Gaal was taking over, four or five people, including players, called me to say that he doesn't like Brazilian players," Rafael said.
"They pointed out what had happened with Rivaldo at Barcelona, but I didn't believe it."However, the relationship with his manager started to take a turn, presumably because of the miscommunication between the pair, with this peculiar incident a case in point:
The Dutch boss took to speaking to players after they had lunch in the canteen. But when time, when he was doing so, Rafael touched an injury he was nursing.
His boss then touched Rafael's head and asked: 'Why don't you respect me?'"I stood up and said: 'I always respect you," Rafeal explained.
"I've never said anything which was disrespectful to you.' I am a patient guy, but I got angry then. I had done nothing wrong."Antonio [Valencia] later said to me: 'You're not going to play again.' Players didn't speak back to Van Gaal. Antonio was almost right; I barely played again."
After this, Van Gaal called Rafael into his office and told the defender that he could leave. It took some months for it to happen, but eventually the player departed the club to the French league.
But, strangely, when Rafael moved to Lyon, having been ostracised out the club by Van Gaal, he received an unexpected message from the former Barcelona coach."Van Gaal texted me to say: 'You know how football is.' I couldn't believe it. He didn't speak to me and then texted me to wish me well," he said. "I did. I said: 'Thank you.' I was being polite. But I was angry."
At least Rafael was polite about the situation. We can't say the same for van Gaal.
Featured Image Credit: PA