Brazilian international Rafael da Silva has never hidden his affection for Manchester United even after leaving the club many years ago. The right-back was forced out of the club during the Louis Van Gaal era. The 30-year-old had to leave the club after his playing time was reduced drastically during the first season under Dutch tactician Van Gaal.

Rafael da Silva left the Red Devils to sign for French Ligue 1 side Lyon in the summer of 2015. He spent five years in France before joining Turkish team Istanbul Basaksehir last year. He reunited with Manchester United after his Turkish team was drawn in the same group with his beloved Red Devils in the Champions League earlier this season.

In his first season with Istanbul Basaksehir, Rafael da Silva had the opportunity to play with Manchester United twice and on a big stage like the Champions League. He was in the Istanbul Basaksehir starting line-up for the two games. In the first match between the two teams, his Turkish team stunned Manchester United 2-1 at home before the Red Devils more than paid their Turkish opponents back in their coin with a 4-1 victory in the second meeting between the teams at the Theatre of Dreams.

In the second game at Old Trafford, Rafael da Silva had words of encouragement for Red Devils boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as he told him to continue to fight as the Manchester United manager. The Brazilian told reporters about his chat with Solskjaer after the Champions League match in Manchester in November.

At the time, the win sent Manchester United to the top of their group but they were unable to hold on till the end of the group stage campaign dropping to third on the table. Solskjaer and Manchester United were demoted to the Europa League as a result of their third position but they have not stopped fighting like Rafael da Silva said with the team now in the final of the competition. The Red Devils will face Villarreal from the Spanish league in the Europa League final on May 26.