Fred on the ball for United

How a Brazil legend helped Fred join United

Manchester United new boy Fred has explained the part a former Arsenal and Brazil star played in his summer transfer to Old Trafford.

The midfield recruit from Shakhtar Donetsk, who made his first two competitive appearances for the Reds in the Premier League games against Leicester City and Brighton & Hove Albion, revealed how he sought the advice of his fellow countryman Gilberto Silva.
 
Former Gunners favourite Gilberto arrived in North London from Atletico Mineiro in August 2002, just a few weeks after winning the World Cup with Brazil, and he was part of Arsenal's 'Invincibles' side who were unbeaten in the entire 2003/04 league season.

Gilberto Silva battles with Anderson, his fellow Brazilian
Gilberto Silva battled with his compatriot Anderson at Old Trafford in 2008.

He had some titanic tussles with Sir Alex Ferguson's United team during his six-year stay in the capital and was on the winning side when Arsene Wenger's men beat the Reds on penalties in the 2005 FA Cup final at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff.

Of course, such a strong adversary received a great deal of respect from the United ranks and Fred says this was reciprocated by his 41-year-old mentor.

“Gilberto was a top midfielder who played for Arsenal,” Fred told ManUtd.com. “But he has a lot of respect for Manchester United, who are obviously a big club here in England.
 
“He praised the club a lot and, after he was granted the opportunity to speak to Jose Mourinho and other senior figures at United, we made the decision together for me to come here. We decided it would be a good move for me.

Gilberto Silva had a penalty saved by Tomasz Kuszczak in front of the Stretford End in 2006.
“Gilberto is a top guy and his advice means a lot to me. He played in the same position as I do and he won the Premier League, so I look to him for inspiration, I listen to what he has to say and I take on board what he tells me.”

Opinion: Fred's the real deal article

United have a new Brazilian to adore in Fred, writes Stuart Mathieson.

A full interview with Fred will be published in Monday’s edition of United Review, the official matchday programme at Old Trafford.