The Brazilian’s İstanbul Başakşehir side were drawn against United, in what is being dubbed the ‘group of death’ as it includes Paris Saint-Germain and RB Leipzig.
Rafael joined the club alongside his twin Fabio when the pair were 18 and he spent seven years at the club before joining Lyon in 2015.
United fans were devastated that the right-back was allowed to leave under Louis van Gaal, as he’d developed a hero status with supporters for his spirited performances and run-ins with Carlos Tevez and Steven Gerarrd.
CHAMPIONS LEAGUE DRAW IN FULL
Bayern Munich, Atletico Madrid, Salzburg, Lokomotiv Moscow
Real Madrid, Shakhtar Donetsk, Inter Milan, Borussia Monchengladbach
Porto, Manchester City, Olympiacos, Marseille
Liverpool, Ajax, Atalanta, FC Midtjylland
Sevilla, Chelsea, Krasnodar, Rennes
Zenit, Borussia Dortmund, Lazio, Club Brugge
Juventus, Barcelona, Dynamo Kyiv, Ferencvarosi TC
Paris Saint-Germain, Manchester United, RB Leipzig, Istanbul Basaksehir
The 30-year-old spent five years in France before joining Istanbul Basaksehir this summer and the Turkish outfit were drawn against the Red Devils in the group stages this afternoon, meaning Rafael will return to the Theatre of Dreams.
The Brazilian couldn’t hide his delight at being drawn against his old side and described it as ‘dream come true’.
‘Back to where everything start dreams come true,’ said Rafael.
The Brazilian then responded to a tweet from United’s official account after they revealed their excitement at the defender’s return.