“The guy was crazy, but I love him.”
Rafael and Fabio da Silva were adored by Manchester United fans during their time at the club, and to a somewhat lesser extent, so was Anderson.
While Rafael was definitely Alex Ferguson’s more trusted servant of the three, Fabio was given the nod in some massive games for United, even starting the 2011 Champions League final.
And the two fullbacks have written a joint autobiography, talking about what it was like to be identical twins playing for one of the biggest clubs in world football.
In an extract from the book, entitled The Sunshine Kids, Rafael wrote about the Brazilian midfielder Anderson, and how he could have been among the best players in the world, if it wasn’t for the way he ate.
Rafael da Silva on Anderson.
A short piece from the book published in The Mirror read: “We could be on the team coach and pass the services on the motorway and Anderson would jump up impulsively and yell, ‘McDonald’s, McDonald’s.’
“The guy was crazy, but I love him. Give him a football and he would just play with freedom and sometimes, if he got a good run of games, he could play as well as any player in the league.
“Not only that, but when he was playing well, we were playing brilliant football. He picked up a lot of big injuries and then his problems with eating the way he did started to affect him.
“It was no coincidence that his best form came when he had a lot of games because that was when he couldn’t eat so much. I will say something about Anderson – if he had been a professional football player, he could have been the best in the world.
“I’m saying this with all seriousness. I don’t know if he ever took anything seriously. He just loved life in such an easy and casual way.”
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) February 15, 2021
“In some ways that was a quality. It was what made him so popular and one of the most popular players at the club.
“But he would just eat whatever was put in front of him.”
While Anderson’s time at United may have been seen as underwhelming by those around him who knew his potential, he was still called on in some massive moments, famously burying his penalty against Chelsea in the 2008 Champions League final.