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Rafael revealed that Cristiano Ronaldo personally convinced him over the phone to join Manchester United. Rafael joined in 2008 from Fluminese along with his twin brother Fabio. He has been capped by Brazil twice and made 170 appearances for Manchester United, winning three Premier League titles in the process. Both the brothers have said that moving to such a big club at such a young age was a daunting experience.

“He [Ronaldo] called my phone, and I’ll never forget that,” Rafael said about Cristiano Ronaldo calling him. “My phone had all the zeros [on the screen, to indicate an international call] and I was saying ‘Who is this? I’ve never received a call like this.’ I answered, and I knew him because I’d trained with him before. He just said: ‘Ah, [Portuguese greeting]!’ I ran to my bus saying: ‘It’s Ronaldo, it’s Ronaldo! He’s calling us to speak!’”

“He just said: ‘It’s raining here, it’s raining here in Manchester as you know.’ He said: ‘I call to say to you guys: sign for Manchester United. I know you are going to like it,’ et cetera,” he added. “I could not believe [it]. It was amazing. When my brother came back from his first time, from 20 days [of] training with Man United, he was so excited. He actually got bigger. I didn’t go the first time he went, because I was with the Under-15s in Brazil, and he went on his own.”

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