Rafael da Silva believes London Olympic defeat helped him mature
Manchester United full-back Rafael da Silva believes he has matured since Brazil’s appearance at the London Olympics last summer.
The Seleção had been favorites to claim their first Olympic gold medal in the men’s tournament but fell at the final hurdle with a 2-1 defeat to Mexico at Wembley.
Rafael put in some strong performances throughout the group and knock-out stages but his blunder led to Mexico striker Oribe Peralta opening the scoring after just 30 seconds in the final.
The young Brazilian then compounded a miserable performance by arguing with team-mate Juan following another mistake in the closing stages, which led to booing from the Brazilian fans as Rafael was substituted.
However, since then the United defender has matured into a key player for Sir Alex Ferguson’s side with some stand-out performances at right-back.
Rafael told Globo: "Everybody says that you grow in defeat. Surely, that's what happened to me.
"After the final, I heard a lot of things that I did not want to hear again. So after that I was more mature and evolved."
Rafael also admitted that like many of his fellow natives, he is hoping for a chance to prove himself on the international stage ahead of Brazil’s hosting of the 2014 World Cup.
He added: "Every player dreams of representing the national team and I am no different.
"First I have to do my job well at Manchester United. If I do, then Scolari will give me a chance in the squad. So I only think of working hard at my club."