Asked last month why he had signed Matteo Darmian when Rafael was already at the club, Louis van Gaal said that 'at right full back you have to defend'.
It was a moment which signalled that the end of the Brazlian's Man Utd career was not far off. Three weeks after that press conference, Rafael was offloaded to Lyon for a reported fee of just £2.1 million.
Speaking to Brazilian media outlet Globo Esporte, Rafael divulged some details about his relationship with Louis van Gaal.
I know this history that he doesn't like Brazilians, but I can't say: 'Oh, he doesn't like Brazilians'.
I know that he didn't like me, but if that's because I'm Brazilian, I don't know.
The truth is that after Van Gaal arrived, I played little. And a player always wants to play.
Here [at Lyon] I have more playing opportunities.
The defender felt, in particular, that the departure of Alex Ferguson was 'fatal' for his Old Trafford career.
I did the complete season, when he [Ferguson] left. In 2012-13 I played almost every game, it was my best season at United, we were even champions.
And that's when they changed the manager. That change was fatal for me. I was going well, then Ferguson left.
Translation via the Press Association