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Rafael Da Silva reckons his former Manchester United team-mate Anderson would have become one of the world's greatest players – but for his love of McDonald's burgers.
The Brazilian full-back has revealed how Anderson's fitness and weight problems were exacerbated by his taste for fast-food.
Anderson, who retired from the game last year at the age of 32 after a spell with Turkish club Adama Demispor, was the 2008 Golden Boy winner who lifted the Champions League and four Premier League titles in eight seasons at Old Trafford.
But in his new joint autobiography with twin brother Fabio, ex-United full-back Rafael said: “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.'
Anderson was tipped for big things at Man Utd
(Image: John Peters)
“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.
The midfielder was sold in 2015
“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.
“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 made just 181 appearances for United after being signed from Gremio.
He had a loan spell with Fiorentina before moving back to Brazil when he signed for Internacional.
The Sunshine Kids, the autobiography of Rafael and Fabio Da Silva, published by Pitch Publishing, is out now
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