Home SPORTS Cristiano Ronaldo convinced Rafael & Fabio to join Man Utd

Cristiano Ronaldo convinced Rafael & Fabio to join Man Utd

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Rafael and Fabio da Silva became cult heroes from almost the moment they joined Manchester United in 2008, but it could have been very different had they chosen Arsenal instead.

The twins were hot talents from a young age and were scouted by United as early as 2005 at a youth tournament in Hong Kong when they were only 15. Arsenal were also on the scene, but it was United they chose, initially agreeing a deal in 2007 and later moving to England upon turning 18.

Cristiano Ronaldo was only a young player himself in those days and not the global sporting icon he later became. But he was still a star attraction, having exploded onto the scene in 2003, and played a major role in helping the Da Silvas make that early decision that defined their careers.

They had already travelled to Manchester for a trial with United and returned home. Yet there was also an offer to go to Arsenal, and Ronaldo, seemingly at the behest of Sir Alex Ferguson, determined not to lose the twins to Arsene Wenger, got on the phone in 2005.

“First it was a Portuguese greeting. Then the voice says: ‘It is Cristiano Ronaldo’,” Fabio told the Daily Mail. “I think it is a joke but he says, ‘No, it is Cristiano here. I’m calling you to tell you to come to United. I can help you guys so you need to come. You’re going to enjoy [it].’

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