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’Anderson could have been the world’s best player if not for McDonald’s’

Anderson, Manchester United
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Former Manchester United defender Rafael has revealed how Anderson failed to live up to his potential at Old Trafford.

Anderson could’ve been the world’s best footballer had it not been for his love for food and McDonald’s, says Rafael.

The two Brazilians were teammates at Manchester United until 2015. Anderson was the first to arrive in 2007 in a £28 million deal from Porto, with Rafael following him to Old Trafford a year later. But the ex-midfielder struggled to stay in the line-up and ultimately faded as the years rolled by.

Now in a joint autobiography with twin brother Fabio, named ‘The Sunshine Kids’, Rafael has revealed what went wrong for Anderson.

“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’,” wrote Rafael as quoted by 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.

“Not only that, but when he was playing well, we were playing brilliant football. 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 with all seriousness. I don’t know if he ever took anything seriously. He just loved life in such an easy and casual way.

“In some ways that was a quality. It was what made him so popular and one of the most popular players at the club.

“But he would just eat whatever was put in front of him.”

Anderson, who made 181 appearances for United between 2007 and 2015, retired in 2020 following a spell at Turkish club Adana Demirspor.

The 33-year-old also played for Fiorentina in Serie A, along with Brazilian sides Internacional and Coritiba.