Brazilian fullback Fabio da Silva may have had only 56 appearances for Manchester United, but he’s not been forgotten by the club’s fans.
Alongside his brother Rafael, the charismatic twins didn’t need a very long stay to be loved at Old Trafford. Signed by Sir Alex Ferguson from Brazilian side Fluminense in 2007, they were always seen as great prospects for the club’s future.
But things didn’t work out as expected, and now after spells at Queens Park Rangers and Cardiff City, Fabio finds himself at Middlesbrough, where he claims to be living his peak as a footballer.
The player has spoken to Brazilian outlet Globo Esporte, and mentioned a few reasons why things didn’t go that well at Old Trafford.
“I think I’m at the peak of my fitness, at 27, I learned a lot from those 10 years in England,” Fabio told Globo Esporte. “Watching myself, and seeing how I’ve played, I think I’m at my best, yes. When I arrived in Manchester, I think I was shy, I came from Fluminense, national team, captain… at Manchester, I lost confidence a little, I didn’t evolve how they expected.”
Originally playing at left-back, Fabio could never manage to overtake Patrice Evra’s place in the team. That’s why he ended up moving to the right side, evening starting a Champions League final in that position for Manchester United.
“Then I kept getting ups and downs. I played the Champions League final, but I didn’t have consistency. I went to the national team with Mano, but I was not well at that time and I did badly, I didn’t play well. When I went to the other clubs, there were the relegations, I lost confidence.”
Now at Middlesbrough, Fabio believes the fans like him the same way it used to be at United: “I don’t know if it’s because of being Brazilian too, but the fans like me very much. I can’t complain about that. In Cardiff, too. Even in Manchester, even not playing so much, the fans always liked me a lot.”
Between 2007 and 2014, Fabio won five titles for Manchester United: two Premier Leagues titles, one League Cup and two Community Shields.