Fábio playing for Cardiff City in 2014
|Full name||Fábio Pereira da Silva|
|Date of birth||9 July 1990|
|Place of birth||Petrópolis, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil|
|Height||1.72 m (5 ft 8 in)|
|2012–2013||→ Queens Park Rangers (loan)||21||(0)|
|2007||Brazil U17[nb 1]||13||(10)|
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 15 May 2018|
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 10 November 2011
Fábio Pereira da Silva (Brazilian Portuguese: [ˈfabju peˈɾejɾɐ dɐ ˈsiwvɐ]; born 9 July 1990), commonly known as Fábio or Fábio da Silva, is a Brazilian professional footballer who plays as a full-back for French club Nantes. He and his twin brother Rafael began their careers with Fluminense in their native Brazil before being signed by English club Manchester United in February 2007. Unlike his brother, Fábio struggled to hold down a place in the Manchester United first team, and after a loan spell with Queens Park Rangers in 2012–13, he made a permanent move to Cardiff City in January 2014.
- 1 Early life
- 2 Club career
- 3 International career
- 4 Playing style
- 5 Career statistics
- 6 Honours
- 7 Personal life
- 8 Notes
- 9 References
- 10 External links
Fábio was born in Petrópolis, approximately one hour's drive from Rio de Janeiro in Rio de Janeiro state, and began playing football from age five. He and his identical twin Rafael would play five-a-side in the city. They were then spotted by a representative of Fluminense, who gave them the opportunity to play for the club; they went to live at the club's training centre at Xerém when they were just 11 years old.
Fábio began his football career as a defensive midfielder with his local club, Boa Esperança, but he was converted to left back when he joined Fluminense. With Fluminense, Fábio took part in the 2005 Nike Premier Cup in Hong Kong, where he was spotted by Manchester United scout Les Kershaw, who remarked that the twins reminded him of "two little whippets". Kershaw then telephoned Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson and recommended that the club sign the Da Silva twins. Manchester United got in touch with Fluminense and asked permission for the twins to travel to Manchester to train with them in 2005. Shortly afterwards, a scout claiming to represent Arsenal visited the twins and asked them to come to England to train with Arsenal without the permission of Fluminense. However, they were dissuaded from this by their mother, who reminded them that they had been with Fluminense since they were 11, and that they should show the club some loyalty. Therefore, they decided to sign for Manchester United over Arsenal, and the two clubs agreed a deal in February 2007. The twins moved to Manchester in January 2008 without ever having played for the Fluminense first team.
Despite signing for the club in February 2007, Fábio was unable to be registered as a Manchester United player or play in matches for the club until his 18th birthday on 9 July 2008. He made his first appearance for Manchester United on 4 August 2008, coming on as a half-time substitute for Patrice Evra in a 2–0 friendly win away to Peterborough United. His performance in that game was praised, with Today claiming that "Manchester United finally found out what they were missing". He has since played in eight matches for the club's reserve team, scoring five goals – including a hat-trick against Rochdale in the Lancashire Senior Cup on 16 March 2009 – and was named on the bench for United's second Premier League match of the season against Portsmouth on 25 August 2008. However, Fábio's competitive debut for the Manchester United first team was delayed by a shoulder injury, which required surgery.
Fábio finally made his debut on 24 January 2009, in the 2–1 FA Cup Fourth Round win over Tottenham Hotspur. However, he incurred an injury to his calf shortly into the second half and had to be replaced by fellow debutant Richard Eckersley. Fábio made his Premier League debut on 16 August, playing at right-back at home to Birmingham City on the opening day of the 2009–10 season. He made his second start of the season at home to Wolverhampton Wanderers in the third round of the League Cup, but was red-carded just short of the half-hour mark for a professional foul on Michael Kightly.
On 21 October, Fábio was handed his UEFA Champions League debut in a 1–0 win over CSKA Moscow. He started the match but came off shortly before the end with an injury. Sir Alex Ferguson expressed his pleasure with Fábio's performance, especially with the match being played on an artificial surface. On 27 October, Fábio was booked for a foul committed by his twin brother Rafael in United's 2–0 League Cup victory over Barnsley. Manchester United appealed and The Football Association ("FA") agreed it was a case of mistaken identity, transferring the card to Rafael. On 1 April 2010, Fábio signed a contract extension with Manchester United that would tie him to the club until at least June 2014. Fábio scored his first goal for United on 26 February 2011, netting the final goal in a 4–0 away win over Wigan Athletic. Just two weeks later, he scored again, netting his first FA Cup goal and first at Old Trafford, opening the scoring from close range in a 2–0 win over Arsenal. On 28 May 2011, Fábio started the UEFA Champions League Final against Barcelona; United lost the match 3–1.
In April 2012, Sir Alex Ferguson announced that, in order to provide him with the first-team experience that Manchester United could not provide at the time, Fábio would go out on loan for the 2012–13 season.
Queens Park Rangers (loan)
On 2 July 2012, it was announced that Fábio had signed on loan for Queens Park Rangers for the 2012–13 season. His debut came at home to Swansea City on 18 August, and finished as a 5–0 defeat, during which he received a yellow card for a foul on Nathan Dyer. His next league appearance would come against Norwich City, which would later end up in a 1–1 draw. Fábio's first cup game playing for QPR would come against Walsall in the League Cup. A match that would end in a 3–0 win for Queens Park Rangers. Fábio scored his first goal for QPR against Milton Keynes Dons in an FA Cup match they went on to lose 4–2.
After his return to Manchester United for the 2013–14 season, Fábio made just three appearances for the club, his final appearance coming in the shock FA Cup third round home defeat to Swansea City in January 2014. Fábio was sent on as a 76th-minute substitute for the injured Rio Ferdinand, but three-and-a-half minutes later received a straight red card for a reckless lunge on José Cañas with the scores level at 1–1. The ten men of United subsequently conceded a 90th-minute goal and were knocked out of the FA Cup at the third round stage for only the second time in 28 years.
Later that month, Manchester United manager David Moyes accepted a bid for Fábio from Cardiff City, and the transfer was completed on 29 January 2014 after Fábio passed a medical the previous weekend. He went on to make his debut in Ole Gunnar Solskjær's first win, against Norwich City, after which he became a regular in the side. However, Cardiff were relegated from the Premier League at the end of the season, meaning an instant return to the Championship.
Fábio was a regular in the starting XI at the start of the following season, although Cardiff struggled under Solskjær, who was sacked and replaced by Russell Slade in October. Fábio was in-and-out of the starting lineup under Slade following the signing of fellow left-back Scott Malone. That season, Cardiff suffered their worst finish in seven years, finishing 11th in the Championship.
During the 2015–16 season, Fábio became a fan favourite in the Welsh capital following some impressive performances. He also scored his first goal in two years, a half-volley from 25 yards against Middlesbrough.
Fábio missed the opening game of the following season, after which Cardiff manager Paul Trollope announced he was in talks with Middlesbrough over a move for Fábio after Middlesbrough activated his release cause.
On 12 August 2016, Fábio joined newly promoted Premier League side Middlesbrough on a two-year contract. He scored his first goal for Middlesbrough in an EFL Cup tie against Scunthorpe United on 22 August 2017.
Fábio has played internationally for the Brazilian national under-17 team, and was captain of the Brazil team for the 2007 FIFA U-17 World Cup, where he scored twice, making him the team's joint-highest scorer. Despite being a defender, he scored a total of 10 goals in his 13 appearances.
Brazil senior squad
In September 2011, after a spell of good form with Manchester United, Fábio was rewarded with a place in the Brazil senior squad for the matches against Costa Rica and Mexico on 7 and 11 October 2011 respectively.
Along with his brother Rafael, Fábio has been praised for his energetic style, and has been described as an "excellent footballer" by his former manager at Manchester United, Sir Alex Ferguson. Les Kershaw, the former Manchester United academy manager who spotted them, described the pair as being like "two little whippets", praising how "when they got knocked down, they just got straight back up again and got on with it. They were like bouncing balls... very, very quick". The Times has called them "Brazil's answer to the Neville brothers", in reference to defenders Gary and Phil Neville. Based on his attacking ability and instincts, it was suggested on the United website that Fábio, along with Rafael, could be deployed in the midfield rather than in defence.
- As of 15 May 2018
|Club||Season||League||FA Cup||League Cup||Europe||Other[nb 2]||Total|
|Manchester United||2008–09||Premier League||0||0||2||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||2||0|
|Queens Park Rangers (loan)||2012–13||Premier League||21||0||1||1||1||0||–||–||23||1|
|Cardiff City||2013–14||Premier League||13||0||0||0||–||–||–||13||0|
Fábio's twin brother Rafael is also a professional footballer. Both twins signed for Manchester United at the same time in 2008. The twins' elder brother, Luiz Henrique Pereira da Silva, used to play for América-MG in Brazil and Brescia in Italy, but moved with his wife to England when the twins signed for Manchester United. After a six-week wait for international clearance, Luiz Henrique signed for Radcliffe Borough, but he and his wife returned to Brazil in early 2009 in preparation for the birth of their child, where he returned to England few months later.
The wedding ring on Fábio's finger used to be how Sir Alex Ferguson could tell the twins apart, with Fábio already married at age 18 to 17-year-old Barbara, who relocated to England with him. Despite starting their careers at Fluminense, both Fábio and Rafael are actually supporters of Fluminense's local rivals Botafogo.
- Only includes 2007 FIFA U-17 World Cup and 2007 South American Under-17 Football Championship
- Includes other competitive competitions, including the FA Community Shield, UEFA Super Cup, FIFA Club World Cup
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