Reports have emerged saying that former Manchester United defender Rafael da Silva donated his Lyon wages to charity during injury lay-off in his first season.

Rafael joined Lyon in 2015 but endured a tough first season with the French club after suffering a hamstring injury and the Lyon defender donated his wages to charity during his injury lay-off.

Rafael picked up a hamstring injury early in the campaign, restricting him to just 18 starts in Ligue 1.

He has since become a first-team regular but has revealed he donated his wages to the club’s charity, OL Foundation.

“I like to play and I like to be paid for doing that, but I wasn’t playing,” he is quoted as telling L’Equipe.

“I’m happy to have done that for the kids, but it was good for me too. It helped me.”

Rafael decided to use his money to pay for a robot, allowing children in hospital to speak to players on match days.

He normally plays as a right-back, but can also play on the right side of midfield. He and his twin brother, Fábio, began their careers with Fluminense before joining Manchester United in January 2007. After eight years in England, Rafael joined Lyon in August 2015 for a fee of up to £2.5million.

The twins decided to sign for Manchester United, and a deal was agreed between the two clubs in February 2007.

They moved to Manchester in January 2008, but were unable to play in matches until they turned 18 in July 2008. Rafael made his first appearance for the club in a 2–0 friendly win over Peterborough United on 4 August. Rafael was then registered in the club’s senior squad for the 2008–09 season and was assigned the number 21 shirt.

Rafael has so far made 50 league appearances in total for Lyon and has chipped in with just the one goal in the process.