Former Manchester United defender Rafael believes old teammate Anderson could’ve been ‘the best in the world’ if he didn’t love burgers.

Anderson arrived at Old Trafford from Porto in 2007 and was viewed as one of the world’s most promising talents.

He’d spend eight years in England and won four Premier League titles and the Champions League, despite issues with his fitness.

Rafael has revealed in a joint autobiography with brother Fabio exactly why his fellow Brazilian never lived up to his potential.

“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’,” the former Istanbul Basaksehir and Lyon man explained.

“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.

“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.

Anderson won four Premier League titles and the Champions League with Manchester United. Image: Alamy”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.”

Anderson left United in 2015 for Brazilian side Internacional before making his way to Adana Demirspor in 2018.

Former Red Devils teammate Michael Owen seems to agree with Rafael’s analysis and has previously described Anderson as ‘too laid back’.

He told SportsJOE: “He was very talented, was Anderson.


“Without being too general, he’d have that Brazilian attitude. He was a pretty relaxed guy. Maybe too relaxed at times.

“He loved being out there with a ball at his feet but he did not bother about weights, or anything really. Him getting back from injuries was often a slow process.

“He was a really good player but if he had that driven mentality, he could have been great.”