Rafael loving life under Sir Alex

The 19-year-old says Rafael ‘is like a father for him’.

Rafael told the Sun: “Sir Alex Ferguson is like a father for me. Off the pitch, he is a great and lovely man.

“He helps me out a lot in Manchester. He knows perfectly how to deal with youngsters and when to bring them to the first team. He doesn’t talk much but when he talks, he says only right things.

“He knows when he needs to be supportive and explain ‘look, you can’t do that now’.

“And he knows how to be really tough when the team is not playing well.”

Rafael continued: “I will never forget the first training session with Cristiano Ronaldo. I think it was my third trip to Manchester. I was 16 and we were going to play a game in Belgium. I scored in that game.

“Ronaldo is a sensational person. Very humble and he jokes with us all the time and is nothing like his public superstar image.”

Rafael added: “English football is the best right now.

“It was easy to adapt, because I’ve always enjoyed physical football. I am fast, I like to run and I like to pass the ball quickly. In life we need objectives and I want to be a starter in this team.

“You can’t be worried about who is playing, history or whatever. I just want to play … always.

“A player’s career ends early but, more recently, it has been starting earlier and earlier.

“I am so young and have accomplished lots of dreams already.

“I don’t like losing. Absolutely nothing. In life, I enter every competition, be it a video game or a football match, to win.

“Off the pitch, my brother and I are used to staying at home. And to be honest, for anyone who likes going out, Manchester must be horrible.

“But that’s fine. We like to stay home!”