Rafael hopes for Brazil chance

Manchester United defender Rafael has been stung by suggestions he is not interested in playing for Brazil.

Last Updated: 17/07/13 at 11:14 Post Comment

Rafael (l): Keen to represent his country

Rafael (l): Keen to represent his country

Despite being one of the most improved players at Old Trafford, and claiming a third Premier League title winners' medal last season, Rafael's history with the Selecao is a chequered one.

The full-back was called into the senior squad for the first time in 2010 but did not make his debut for another two years, when he came on as a substitute against Denmark.

He was then selected for Brazil's Olympic squad last summer, which was supposed to provide the platform for a World Cup challenge on home soil in 2014.

But Rafael was blamed for a key error in Brazil's final defeat by Mexico at Wembley, since when he has disappeared from the senior squad completely and was overlooked for the recent Confederations Cup when coach Luis Felipe Scolari opted to select only one orthodox right-back in Dani Alves.

The perception is Rafael does not care, having left his homeland on his 18th birthday along with twin brother Fabio to take up a contract offer with the Red Devils.

But, Rafael insists, the perception is wrong.

"People think I don't want to play for Brazil because I left at such a young age," he said. "That is not true at all.

"My brother and I left because life for any young Brazilian player is full of uncertainty.

"It is the same in England but we knew Manchester United represented a big chance for us.

"The people back home thought we didn't care. We do care. I would love the chance to play for my country again.

"I don't think about it so much because of what has happened and because there is a lot to do with my club but the dream of playing in the World Cup for Brazil in Brazil never goes away. I would love it to happen."

As Brazil triumphed at the Confederations Cup, Rafael is not going to force his way back into Scolari's plans particularly easily, especially when his most recent experience of representing his country in a high-profile game was to gift the ball to Mexico for their first-minute opener in that Olympic final.

"I always say the Olympics were the best thing that has ever happened to me," said Rafael.

"It made me much stronger as a person. Up to the semi-final, everyone was saying good things about me and how well I was doing.

"After we lost the final it was all my fault. (With Brazil) there always has to be someone to blame - it doesn't matter whether it is Under-17s, Under-19s, anyone - and I was it.

"People said lots of things but I said to myself 'don't let it affect you'.

"I am a stronger person because of it because nothing can be like that again."

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e have the personnel. The trick is keeping them fit. Carrick and Blind have missed large chunks of the season, while the defence has been one muddled mess of intermittent stooges, all coming and going at various intervals thus far. We may be just short of title winning quality, but we're half way through. An injury crisis to either of the top two could change things. Optimistic, yes, but not unrealistic.

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arish is the man to blame for this shambles. Pulis must be chuckling into his left over turkey sandwich. I pray this doesn't mean the Neil Warnock media machine will kick in now and he'll be back on the telly box.

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e almost found a new way to lose, just when I thought it was getting boring Giroud does that. Although Arsenal are deservedly called 'soft' the entire midfield is out injured. Still must admit MU are managing to win despite a similar raft of absentees. Think the Gunners have good players but poorly coached.

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