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Rafael signs Manchester United extension until 2016

The defender has been rewarded for the form that helped secure his position in the Red Devils' squad, and seems set to play a significant role in Sir Alex Ferguson's future plans

Rafael has signed a new four-year contract at Manchester United, which will keep the full-back the club until the end of the 2015-16 season.

The 21-year-old arrived at Old Trafford along with his twin brother Fabio from Fluminense in 2008, and his performances for the first team have warranted a call-up to the Brazil squad.

Rafael expressed his delight at securing his future, telling the Premier League giants' official website: “I am so happy to sign a new contract.

"I love playing for Manchester United, there is a great team spirit here and a real desire to win.

"My time here has been unbelievable; winning two league titles, a league cup and a Club World Cup has made me hungry for more trophies.

"I would like to thank Sir Alex for his belief in me and I would also like to thank the fans for their support.”

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