Former Manchester United star Rafael da Silva has absolutely ripped into former manager Louis van Gaal in a revealing interview.
The Brazilian was a real fan favourite during his time at Old Trafford, and it’s clear the club remain a big passion of his, as he spoke to The Athletic about a range of topics.
It seems Rafael had a very difficult time at United under Van Gaal, who was not particularly popular with most Red Devils supporters either.
LVG only lasted two seasons at Man Utd, bowing out with an FA Cup final victory before being replaced by Jose Mourinho, but Rafael had just one unhappy season with him before he was sold to Lyon.
Despite being such a top performer for much of his United career, Rafael has revealed how he was bizarrely frozen out by Van Gaal, who made it clear early on that he didn’t want him.
Rafael was obviously not a fan of how he treated his players, as he described the Dutchman as being one of the worst people he’d worked with in football.
“When they said Van Gaal was the manager, a lot of friends called me. I could not believe it, as a lot of people told me he does not like Brazilians (because of their style of play),” Rafael told The Athletic. “They told me, ‘The first thing he is going to do is take you out.’ Actually, it was the second thing because on the first day, he did not speak to me. On the second day, he said, ‘You can leave.’
“I had not even trained and he said that. I could not believe it. Ryan (Giggs) tried to defend me a lot. I spoke with him and I could not understand it because I had not even had a chance to show my football to Van Gaal in training. He just came and said, ‘You can leave.’ He did not explain why. He said, ‘You will not play this season, I am not going to use you, if you want to leave, you leave.’ I said, ‘OK.’ I still tried to battle for my place. I stayed one year with him. It was so, so hard. He is one of the worst people I have worked with.”
He added: “He didn’t care how people are, he just wanted to think about himself — ‘I am like this, you respect me, you do like I want.’ That’s how he speaks. Players get tired of this. You don’t need to speak all the time. If we talk (about culture), he changed everything. I understand the coach needs to change as he has his qualities and own way of thinking. But you know when the coach does something just to say, ‘NO’? He agrees with this thing (deep down) but he is going to change it just to say, ‘I am the boss.’ So he did that. A lot of things.”
Rafael was not so harsh on another unpopular ex-United boss, David Moyes. Despite the Scot’s struggles in Manchester, Rafael feels it was more a case of him being the wrong man for the wrong group of players.
Man City star has refused to take a throw-in for the last SIX years. Click here to find out why.
“I have nothing bad to say about David,” he said. “I talk bad about some people, like Van Gaal. I don’t like Van Gaal. But Moyes was not like Van Gaal, not even a bit. I mean here as a human being.
“The problem was that everybody thought Moyes would be nearly the same coach as Ferguson but they were different people, outside the pitch and inside the pitch. But to be honest with you, it is not easy to come after Ferguson. He had a lot of pressure around him. Maybe people wanted him to be Ferguson — but he wasn’t. That is the truth. You cannot replace a guy like Alex Ferguson and to say to the other coach, ‘I want you to be like him.’ There is no chance, man. It was really hard for him.
“David is a very honest guy. As a coach, I never think he did what maybe he liked at United. The players he had at United were maybe not his style of football. It was hard for him to control and do things. As a manager, you do have to listen a lot to people but when people just say the opposite of what you think, you start to think a lot and it can stop you from being yourself. It went that way for him — ‘I am not me.’ It is hard when this starts to happen.”