Rafael thanks Fergie

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Brazilian right-back Rafael da Silva admits he would never have came through at Manchester United without the paternal care of Sir Alex Ferguson.

The teenager has broken into United’s first team this season to great effect and already scored his first Premier League goal in the 2-1 defeat by Arsenal at the Emirates last month.

At 19 and far from home, Rafael has been able to look at the Old Trafford chief as more than just their boss.

Rafael feels Fergie, who everyone at United calls him the gaffer, remains more of a father figure to his players: kind, caring and encouraging — no matter who you are.

He told The Sun: "Sir Alex Ferguson is like a father for me. Off the pitch, he is a great and lovely man.

"He helps me out a lot in Manchester. He knows perfectly how to deal with youngsters and when to bring them to the first team. He doesn’t talk much but when he talks, he says only right things.

"He knows when he needs to be supportive and explain ‘look, you can’t do that now.’

"And he knows how to be really tough when the team is not playing well."

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