Rafael Da Silva began his youth career in his homeland with Fluminense in 2005. He was heavily linked with a number of European clubs such as Arsenal and Real Madrid but eventually moved to Manchester United in January 2008. However, Rafael was ineligible to play until July 2008 when he turned 18.
He made his first appearance in a United shirt during the August friendly against Peterborough. His Premier League debut for the club came soon after as a substitute in the opening day match against Newcastle United.
Rafael's first start for the team arrived in the Third round of the League Cup against Middlesbrough in September. A week later he started the UEFA Champions League match away to Aalborg where he turned in an impressive performance. His career continued to blossom as he made his first Premier League start in October before scoring his first goal for the club in November.
His efforts over the course of the season were recognised with a nomination for the PFA Young Player of the Year Award. Shortly after, he signed a new contract with the club keeping him in Manchester until 2013. To date, Rafael has only represented Brazil at U17 level, most notably in the U17 World Cup. He has also indicated a willingness to play for Portugal if not picked by Brazil as he holds a Portuguese citizenship.