Olympic experience 'amazing' for Rafael

Manchester United full-back Rafael hopes his Olympic experience helps Premier League audiences look at him in a slightly different way.

The 22-year-old has helped drive Brazil towards a Wembley showdown with Mexico tomorrow.

Victory will earn the world’s most successful international side their first Olympic title and confirm Mario Menezes is on the right track towards a triumphant 2014 World Cup, which Brazil will host.

After his performances over the past fortnight, Rafael should be part of those plans.

“This is an amazing experience for me,” said Rafael.

“It is good that the coach will maybe think about me for the 2014 World Cup.

“Also, maybe the people in England will think about me differently if we win the tournament.

“It is always good to win medals. This tournament is good for my career.”

Rafael’s problem is the current Brazilian squad defend in the same manner as they have always done; slightly erratically, concentrating more on exerting pressure on their opponents rather than worry about keeping them out.

It doesn’t quite translate onto the Premier League stage, which is why the youngster has not been able to properly build on an outstanding first full season at United, which ended with a starting spot in the 2009 Champions League final defeat to Barcelona.

Sir Alex Ferguson remains convinced Rafael can reach the top. And he is one of those who has been in touch during the competition.

“I have spoken with Anderson a few times and I have also spoken with the boss. They both wished me good luck for his competition,” said Rafael.

Brazil’s march to the final means Rafael will not be involved in any of United’s pre-season games.

Indeed, even after tomorrow’s game he has an additional international commitment, against Sweden in Stockholm on August 15.

After that though, it is back to the Premier League, when he might be needed to shore up a United defence for the opening trip to Everton already looking like it will be badly affected by injury.

“There are only a few days between the final and the first game of the season but this is normal for football players,” he said.

“You often have to switch between competitions.

“I enjoy my life more like that. I like to play football. It is good.”

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