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31st Dec 2016

Manchester United fans can’t contain themselves as fan favourite Rafael returns to Old Trafford

They still miss him.

Tom Victor

There are a fair few Manchester United fans who wish Rafael had never left the club.

The Brazilian, who came through the ranks with twin brother Fabio, was a hugely popular figure throughout his time at Old Trafford, playing more than 150 times under Sir Alex Ferguson, David Moyes and Louis van Gaal.

Van Gaal allowed him to leave for Lyon in 2015, and Rafael made it clear that his exit was largely down to the Dutchman’s influence, but the full-back has not forgotten his former teammates and fans.

And the feeling is mutual, which meant supporters were delighted to see the former favourite back at Old Trafford for the Premier League meeting with Middlesbrough.

Lyon are currently on their winter break, leaving Rafael free to watch his brother in action, even if Fabio only managed eight minutes as the home side came from behind to secure a 2-1 victory.

Anthony Martial and Paul Pogba were United’s goalscorers, after Grant Leadbitter had given the visitors a shock lead, but it seemed some of the Old Trafford faithful were almost more excited at the sight of a man who won their hearts during his spell with the club.

They certainly wouldn’t complain if he returned to the club on a permanent basis.