Fred joined Manchester United in the summer of 2018, while representing Brazil at the World Cup finals in Russia.
The Belo Horizonte-born star had proved his capabilities long before his move to Old Trafford, by playing a key role in Shakhtar Donetsk’s successful title defence in Ukraine the previous year, and with his impressive displays in the 2017/18 UEFA Champions League.
As a youngster, Fred spent time at Atletico Mineiro and Porto Alegre in his native Brazil, before his rise into professional football really took off when he made the switch to Internacional in 2010. During his successful two-year spell at Estádio Beira-Rio, the dynamic midfielder won back-to-back local state championships, as well as the Recopa Sudamericana.
His influential performances attracted the attention of a number of European clubs and Shakhtar came calling in 2013.
Fred spent five successful seasons with the club, where he scored 14 goals in 156 games and won 10 major trophies – three league titles, three Ukrainian Cups and four Ukrainian Super Cups.
Before joining the Reds, he had already experienced a brief taste of playing at Old Trafford, with Shakhtar Donetsk in a Champions League group game against United, when the Reds won 1-0 thanks to a Phil Jones goal in December 2013.
On the international stage, Fred made his Brazil debut in 2014 and was called up for the Copa America a year later, as he was again for the 2018 World Cup.
Just over a month after Brazil’s quarter-final exit, Fred made his Reds debut in the first game of the 2018/19 season, against Leicester City.
The midfielder took quickly to life in English football and produced some fantastic performances in the opening month of the campaign, including in the 2-1 victory against the Foxes, and was nominated for the club’s August Player of the Month award.
He followed that by bagging his first United goal in our 1-1 draw against Wolverhampton Wanderers in September, but found had to be patient for further first-team opportunities in the coming weeks and months.
It wasn’t until Ole Gunnar Solskjaer took up the managerial reins in December that Fred again featured regularly. Arguably, his best performance of his maiden campaign at United came in our famous comeback win against Paris Saint-Germain in March, when he managed to nullify the threat from fellow South American Leandro Paredes.
Fred enjoyed his best campaign yet in 2019/20, forging a useful partnership with Scott McTominay in central midfield during the injury-enforced absence of Paul Pogba, and was even named Player of the Month in January 2020.
He scored a double against Club Brugge in the Europa League last 32 – his first strikes in Red since his maiden goal against Wolves – and remained a trusted lieutenant for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer throughout, making 48 appearances.