How one of Brazil's 1982 World Cup stars helped Fred
Brazil may not have won the World Cup in 1982 but their team in Spain was one of the most flamboyant in the history of the game.
Many people felt they were destined to lift the trophy after topping their group comfortably, ahead of the Soviet Union, Scotland and New Zealand, plus rattling in 10 goals in the three games.
Their football was sensational and Tele Santana's side contained big names such as Junior, Toninho Cerezo, Socrates, Falcao, Zico and Eder.
The latter was a wide man with a rocket shot, who scored in both of the Selecao's opening games – against the Soviet Union and Scotland.
Unfortunately, the three-team group format in the next phase of the competition led to the South Americans' exit, despite them beating fierce rivals Argentina. Italy sealed their elimination after Paolo Rossi's hat-trick settled one of the all-time classic ties, 3-2, in Barcelona.
But Eder remained a favourite for those lucky enough to watch him play in that tournament and he was somebody who helped his fellow countryman Fred during the early part of his journey to Manchester United.
When Inside United asked Fred about his time at Eder's football school, he replied:
“He was genuinely a coach there, he's a great guy and I’m so happy to have been coached by him. It was where it all began for me, even for what was a short period of time. He's a great person. These days, he coaches at my hometown club, Atletico Mineiro. I wish him all the best as he's a top guy.
“Brazil's a massive country, and for every 10 children, 10 want to be football players. I grew up in this environment, the land of football, dreaming of playing professionally and becoming a great player. My mum and dad were always a big influence, they helped me with everything: family, school, homework, and would always take me to football. This was all very important. I was brought up in the best way imaginable and I'm very grateful to everybody who helped me on this journey. Today, I look back and realise how much this journey was all worth it.”
Another of the midfielder's coaches was Fernandao, who had a major influence on him during his time at Internacional.
Formerly a striker in France with Marseille and Toulouse, and capped once by Brazil, he was tragically killed in a helicopter crash six years ago, at the age of 36.
“The best advice I ever received was from a coach who sadly passed away recently, Fernandao,” he told us.
“He played me in the first team when I started out professionally at Internacional. He knew I loved playing football. After my first game, he came over and told me to never lose this desire to play football. That bit of advice was very important, it had a big influence upon me. I think it's some of the best advice I've had in my life and entire career.”
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