Coming from ‘the land of football’

Wednesday 15 June 2022 15:00

Manchester United’s Brazilian duo Fred and Alex Telles brought their respective 2021/22 campaigns to a close while on international duty with their nation last week.

The Selecao defeated South Korea 5-1 before edging Japan out 1-0 to ensure two friendly victories from two on Asian soil.

Brazil were set to play a third friendly this month, against Argentina at the Melbourne Cricket Ground in Australia, but that fixture was cancelled. 

The pair will therefore have to wait for a chance to play at the iconic stadium, but only for another month or so, with United set to take on Melbourne Victory and Crystal Palace at the venue in pre-season. 

But for now, Fred and Telles are enjoying some time off before linking up with the Reds again. They spoke about their country of birth and its impact on them, on and off the pitch, recently, during the first episode of our brand-new 'Discover Series' in which the Reds will provide an insight into their respective nations.
Discover Series: Brazil Video

Discover Series: Brazil

Fred and Alex Telles discuss all things Brazil during the first episode of our brand-new 'Discover Series'...

“We're always together here and with the Selecao in Brazil. We feel really good and at ease. We have this joyful spirit,” Telles expressed.

“I think it's a Brazilian thing, especially when we meet people like us, people who enjoy a laugh and a joke. 

“It's really important to be always laughing. It lightens the mood and it's impossible to keep a straight face being with this guy right here every day. We get on really well.”
Despite now living on the other side of the world in Manchester, the pair never forget their roots and always endeavour to inspire the next generation of Brazilians to follow a similarly successful journey to the duo. 

“We don't come from rich families,” Fred said. “The neighbourhood where I grew up, like everywhere else in Brazil, everyone has dreams. It's the land of football, so children grow up dreaming of being a footballer.

“I'm delighted to inspire these children even with a small gesture. It's important, Alex has a social project in his home town. Whenever possible I look to help the children there. 

“I think this is important for the kids that come from adversity. We aim to inspire for them to reach the same place we have.”
My Story: Fred's inspirational tale Video

My Story: Fred's inspirational tale

My Story | Fred opens up on life in Brazil, the advice which sticks with him and how he copes with pressure…

Telles added: “I believe we have a lot of influence upon others, not just children but people in general. 

“We try to be role models to children in our day-to-day lives. I have a social project called Gol de Ouro Alex Telles so for me helping 60 to 70 children every week is a great feeling.

“Knowing that they are participating in the project and doing well at school, it's important to me that the children play football and study. The seeds we plant with these children is really important.”
My Story: What makes Telles tick Video

My Story: What makes Telles tick

Parental inspiration, early setbacks in Brazil and United bromances: Alex Telles talks through what makes him tick…

Our Reds may now be role models themselves, both back home and all over the world, but which Brazilian footballers inspired them growing up?

“So, when I talk about inspirations, I remember Ronaldinho Gaucho and Ronaldo [Nazario]. These two are the best players I've ever seen play in terms of the national team or anywhere,” Telles explained.

“I think Ronaldinho Gaucho's magic and the decisiveness of Ronaldo Fenomeno.”
The legendary pair, Ronaldinho and Ronaldo, won the 2002 World Cup with Brazil when Fred and Telles were aged 9.
“I grew up watching both of them as well, but my biggest inspiration was Ronaldinho Gaucho,” Fred insisted.

“It was the magic of his football, a Brazilian player with the lobs and nutmegs, he really inspired me.”