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The Brazilian full-back has recalled his frustrating one-year spell working under the Dutchman which included daily lectures “about life”

Rafael has described Louis van Gaal has “one of the worst” coaches he’s ever worked with, insisting that the ex-Manchester United boss didn’t give him a chance at Old Trafford.

United turned to the Champions League winner who had previously coached Ajax, Barcelona and the Netherlands after sacking David Moyes towards the end of the 2013-14 campaign.

Moyes failed to pick up from where Sir Alex Ferguson left off at the end of his glorious 27-year reign at Old Trafford, and Van Gaal was seen as a safer pair of hands due to his impressive CV and extensive experience of coaching at the highest level.

However, the Dutchman only lasted two seasons in the hot seat, with an FA Cup triumph ultimately failing to paper over the cracks of the team’s poor Premier League and European form.

Van Gaal spent big on the likes of Angel Di Maria, Memphis Depay and Morgan Schneiderlin, but struggled to create a cohesive side capable of challenging the elite, and was ultimately replaced by Jose Mourinho in the summer of 2016.

One man who barely got a look in under the 69-year-old tactician was Rafael, who says that he quickly learned he wouldn’t be a part of the manager’s plans.

The Brazilian full-back told The Athletic: “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. 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.”

Rafael Manchester United

Rafael, who is now on the books of Turkish champions Istanbul Basaksehir, went on to reveal that Van Gaal would sit the squad down for lectures on life and training multiple times a day, which the defender saw as nothing more than an ego-driven way of asserting his authority.

He added: “Every day, after breakfast, after lunch, or if we had dinner together, he would speak to everyone for 15 minutes about training, about what has happened, about everything, about life. You know when you start to stop listening to what someone is saying, because they speak so much?

“He wanted to show he could speak, but it was every day! All the time! You need to wait for everybody to finish their food to leave, which is fine, OK – but then we watched him talk, for 15 minutes, with all due respect, about sh*t. That is the truth, man. It was sh*t.”

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September 28, 2020
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