Rafael da Silva insists Louis van Gaal is ‘one of the worst’ managers he has ever worked under as the former Manchester United full-back opened up on the ‘s***’ tenure of the Dutchman at Old Trafford.
Van Gaal was brought in by United as successor to David Moyes but Rafael – who feels no ill-will towards Moyes – was soon to learn he had no future under the new boss, and he was even shunned on the first day of training by Van Gaal.
‘I talk bad about some people, like Van Gaal. I don’t like Van Gaal,’ Rafael told the Athletic.
Louis van Gaal (left) created a ‘s***’ culture at Manchester United, according to Rafael (right)
Van Gaal succeeded David Moyes and told Rafael on his second day that he was free to leave
Rafael was a flying full-back at United before having his wings clipped by Van Gaal
‘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.’
‘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, a three-time Premier League champion under Sir Alex Ferguson, felt disrespected.
He recalled how at every meal time for the first team Van Gaal would interrupt with a speech.
Rafael, who left Manchester United to join Lyon in 2015, revealed that Van Gaal is ‘one of the worst people I have worked for’ in his professional footballing career to date
Rafael explained how Ryan Giggs (right) attempted to fight his corner with Van Gaal
It was not welcomed by the squad in the eyes of Rafael and he believes it created a ‘s***’ culture that contributed to their demise in recent seasons.
‘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,’ Rafael explained.
‘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 s***. That is the truth, man. It was s***.
‘He didn’t care how people are, he just wanted to think about himself — “I am like this, you respect me, you do like I want.” That’s how he speaks. Players get tired of this. You don’t need to speak all the time. If we talk (about culture), he changed everything.’
Rafael enjoyed immense success under Sir Alex Ferguson (middle), winning three league titles
Former Manchester United defender Rafael has moved from Lyon to Istanbul Basaksehir
Rafael and his twin brother Fabio were once seen as the future of United’s defence
Rafael, who joined Istanbul Basaksehir on a free transfer this summer, fought for his place under Van Gaal for one season before accepting his fate and leaving.
He joined Lyon in 2015 to end his seven-year stint with United, where he and his twin brother, Fabio, were once seen as the future of United’s defence. Fabio left United for Cardiff in 2014 and now plays for Nantes.
Van Gaal would go on to last another season at Old Trafford before he himself was given the boot – despite winning the FA Cup against Crystal Palace at Wembley. It was the only piece of silverware the Dutchman won as United boss.
The style of football and mood of the first-team squad had deteriorated and Van Gaal was replaced by Jose Mourinho in the summer of 2016.