Rafael gives hilarious reason for why ex-Manchester United player Anderson didn't become world's best player
The two Brazilians played together at Manchester United but Anderson struggled throughout his time at Old Trafford with injuries and weight issues
Rafael da Silva says former Manchester United teammate Anderson could have been the best player in the world had it not been for his love of takeaways and McDonald's.
The former Reds right-back played for United between 2008 and 2015, making 170 appearances before leaving the club for Ligue 1 side Lyon after winning three Premier League titles.
During his time at Old Trafford he played alongside fellow Brazilian Anderson, who was seen as a wonderkid when he completed a £20m move from Porto in 2007. Anderson was a fan favourite for his style and personality off the pitch, but on the pitch he struggled with injury problems throughout his time at the club.
In addition to those injury issues were problems with his weight and diet, something that was often attributed to his failure to reach his potential as a professional footballer.
Now Rafael, who was writing in his new autobiography alongside twin brother Fabio Da Silva, has revealed that the midfielder was good enough to be the world's best player if he was more professional off the pitch.
"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 31-year-old wrote, via the Mirror.
'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.
"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 was all seriousness. I don't know if he ever took anything seriously. He just loved life in such an easy and casual way."
Anderson racked up 181 appearances over eight seasons with the club, scoring just twice before being released by Louis van Gaal in 2015 to return to Brazil with Internacional. He retired in September 2020 after a spell in Turkey with Adana Demirspor.