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The former Old Trafford defender, who now plays for Lyon, did not want to be paid while out of action so generously gave his money away

Former Manchester United defender Rafael may be one of the rarest players in world football, having refused to be paid his lofty wages whilst out injured for Lyon.

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Footballers are not usually known for turning down any chance to earn more money, but every so often a story emerges that warms the heart of even the most cynical of football fan.

This time it involves the Brazilian right back, who was brought to Old Trafford by Sir Alex Ferguson alongside brother Fabio, and spent seven years at Manchester United.

Having been sold in August 2015, Rafael moved to French side Lyon but soon found himself on the sidelines with a hamstring injury.

However, instead of simply turning up on the treatment table and collecting his wages, he went to the Lyon board and asked for his money to be withheld until he was back playing again.

When told this wasn’t possible, Rafael then came up with the solution of handing over his wages to the club’s charity ‘OL Fondation’ which then used the cash to pay for a robot that allows sick children in hospital to be part of match days at the ground.

“I like to play and I like to be paid for doing that, but I wasn’t playing… I’m happy to have done that for the kids, but it was good for me too. It helped me,” Rafael told L’Equipe.

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