Rafael da Silva has revealed Louis van Gaal ended his Manchester United career in a meeting that lasted just one minute.
The Brazilian right-back had spent six seasons at Old Trafford and won three Premier League titles under Sir Alex Ferguson.
But when Van Gaal was appointed in 2014, the Dutchman apparently wasted no time in telling Rafael that he wasn’t required.
Rafael da Silva has revealed how Louis van Gaal abruptly ended his Manchester United career
Van Gaal was ruthless in telling Rafael he was no longer wanted at OId Trafford
Rafael, now at Lyon, told ESPN: ‘When it was announced that Van Gaal was taking over, four or five people, including players, called me to say that he doesn’t like Brazilian players.
‘They pointed out what had happened with Rivaldo at Barcelona, but I didn’t believe it.
‘In his first season, Van Gaal called me into his office and said: ‘You can leave.’ The meeting lasted one minute. That was it: ‘You can leave.’
Rafael eventually left United at the end of Van Gaal’s first season, having made just 11 appearances under Van Gaal as opposed to 28 the previous campaign.
‘It took time for me to go, but I was desperate to leave when I did, and that saddens me because I loved everything about Manchester United,’ he added.
‘Van Gaal texted me to say: ‘You know how football is.’ I couldn’t believe it. He didn’t speak to me and then texted me to wish me well. I said: ‘Thank you.’ I was being polite. But I was angry.’
Rafael won three Premier League titles during his seven seasons at Old Trafford
The Brazilian right-back was accused by Van Gaal of showing disrespect before his departure
Rafael, 27, is now thriving at Lyon but still regrets the way his United career came to an abrupt halt.
He added: ‘Van Gaal is not a bad coach, but I didn’t like his character. One day, I was in the canteen waiting to eat. Van Gaal used to speak to us after we’d eaten each day.
‘I had a head injury after a game at Yeovil – one of the few games I played in that season – and I was touching my injury. After three or four seconds, he touched my head and said: ‘Why don’t you respect me?’
‘I stood up and said: ‘I always respect you. I’ve never said anything which was disrespectful to you.’ I am a patient guy, but I got angry then. I had done nothing wrong.
‘Antonio [Valencia] later said to me: ‘You’re not going to play again.’ Players didn’t speak back to Van Gaal. Antonio was almost right; I barely played again.
‘I love Manchester United, but I was so desperate to leave United. Only one man did that because I liked everything about the place. I couldn’t handle him anymore.’
Rafael (right) now plays for Lyon in Ligue 1, having left United at the end of the 2014-15 season