Rio Ferdinand urges Manchester United teammate Rafael to work on defensive game
Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand believes Rafael must work on the defensive aspects of his game in order to become a “top-class” right-back.
The former England captain has praised the Brazilian for stepping up in the absence of injured defenders Chris Smalling, Phil Jones and Nemanja Vidic.
Rafael scored a stunning equalising goal against Liverpool on Sunday, but Ferdinand believes the 22-year-old must reign in his attacking mentality in order to improve.
He said: "Rafa is his own worst critic.
"He is emotional and sometimes when he makes a mistake he has to make up for it immediately. That comes out in his game at times."
The veteran defender, who has recently been linked with an England recall, also stated that he sees a lot of himself in Rafael.
"When I was his age I was a lot like that. I used to be more interested in what was happening in the attacking part of the game and further up the pitch than defensive play.
"With experience that will disappear and you will see a top right-back."
Rafael, who represented the Seleção at the London Olympics this summer, recently signed a new four-year contract at Old Trafford.