Can Rafael resurrect international career following Lyon switch?
Moving from Manchester United to French outfit Lyon (10/1 Ligue 1 shouts with Coral) may seem like a downgrade in clubs, but for Brazil right back Rafael Da Silva it could signal a second chance for his international career.
The 25-year-old was forced out of Old Trafford this summer, after Louis van Gaal signed Italy’s Matteo Darmian to compete with converted wing back Antonio Valencia, though Rafael was not bitter and is instead excited about his new challenge.
— Olympique Lyonnais (@OL) August 3, 2015
“Since I signed with the club I lived incredible moments, after all were 8 years wearing the shirt of one of the biggest clubs of the world,” he said on social media.
“Thank you Man Utd. I also want to thank all employees who always treated me with great affection and gave me greater attention…Thank you Sir Alex Ferguson for always believing in my work and for all the doors that you opened up to me.
“Now it’s a new path, a new challenge, God bless me!” Rafael, who will compete with Christophe Jallet and Mehdi Zeffane for the right back berth this term, added.
In signing for Lyon, Rafael, who cost a reported £2.5m on a four-year deal, joins a whole host of other Brazilians that have turned out for the club, although he is currently the only senior South American at the Stade de Gerland.
Samba Boys stars such as Juninho Pernambucano, Fred, Michel Bastos, Cris, Sonny Anderson, Edmilson, Cacapa, Marcelo Djian and Ederson, who have all been capped, have turned out for the Kids in recent years.
While Lyon have not won Ligue 1 since 2007/08, they look as though they are on the rise again after finishing second last term behind French giants PSG. Rafael, therefore, has a great chance now to resurrect his career and add to his two caps.
I want to thank Manchester United fans for all the love during those 8 years. pic.twitter.com/1YBVEorKZq
— Rafael da Silva (@orafa2) August 3, 2015
For the likes of French stars such as Alexandre Lacazette and Nabil Fekir, playing for Lyon has certainly helped their international careers, so why wouldn’t it for Rafael too?
PSG’s continued rise in Europe has certainly made the league more prestigious, with top talent joining the likes of Marseille and Monaco too.
At the latter club, right back Fabinho’s performances in the last two seasons have attracted the attention of Brazil boss Dunga, who has given the 21-year-old his first two caps in 2015, so surely that is positive news for Rafael.
The former Man Utd player, whose two Samba Boys appearances to date came in 2012, would also be in competition with the likes of new Real Madrid signing Danilo and ageing Barcelona star Dani Alves.
It is clear that Rafael has talent, as he was Old Trafford icon Gary Neville’s able replacement for a number of seasons before injuries halted his progress. So, as long as he stays fit the move to Lyon can certainly work in his favour.