Fred's secret weapon with Brazil

Sunday 27 November 2022 10:00

Fred says he has been getting first-hand tips and advice on how to win the World Cup from his agent Gilberto Silva.

The former Arsenal midfielder was part of the Selecao squad that triumphed in 2002, in Japan and South Korea, and it is a tournament that Fred remembers watching in his youth.

It is the last time the South Americans got their hands on the prize but they are favourites to go all the way in Qatar and started with a convincing 2-0 victory over Serbia on Thursday night.

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“I remember 2002," Fred told club media recently. "I remember something of ’98 but just a little flash, I don’t remember a lot. But, in 2002, I remember I watched every game in Japan.

"In Brazil, the matches were at five o’clock in the morning so I remember I talked to my father to wake me up to watch every game. So that's my first memory.

“Yeah, [it was] the best memory because we won the World Cup, so good.”

When it comes to that 2002 vintage, Fred was awe-struck by the talent on show for Luiz Felipe Scolari's side, who beat Germany 2-0 in the final in Yokohama.

“Yeah, of course," Fred replied, when asked if they were his heroes. "I remember everyone, so good. Today, I work with Gilberto Silva. He’s my agent and one guy who won the World Cup, so I talk a lot with him to know, because if you win the World Cup, you know about this.

"So I talk a lot with him, but I remember, of course, Ronaldo scored in the final. I remember it. Ronaldinho, Rivaldo, there were a lot of players so, Roberto Carlos, Cafu. So I have a lot of heroes from that World Cup.”

Gilberto Silva in action for Arsenal against Sir Alex's United.

Fred came on as a substitute in the win over Serbia, with Tottenham's Richarlison scoring both goals in the Group H clash.

Antony was also introduced in the second half, while Casemiro started, with Alex Telles, the fourth Red in Tite's squad, remaining on the bench.