Manchester United have finally announced the signing of Brazil midfielder Fred on a five-year deal from Shakhtar Donetsk.
Here, FP looks at five things you may not know about the 25-year-old Brazilian.
Born and bred
Fred – full name Frederico Rodrigues de Paula Santos – was born in Brazil’s sixth largest city Belo Horizonte on March 5, 1993. Belo Horizonte hosted matches at the 1950 and 2014 World Cups and staged two of the tournament’s biggest-ever shocks – England’s 1-0 defeat to the USA in 1950 and Brazil’s 7-1 semi-final thrashing to Germany in 2014.
Former Brazil striker Ronaldinho was Fred’s childhood hero. Fred’s first goal in the Brazilian championship in July 2012 came against his hometown club Atletico Mineiro, who Ronaldinho – once linked with joining United – was playing for at the time.
Signed as a replacement for Manchester City-bound Fernandinho, Fred joined Shakhtar Donetsk from Brazilian club Internacional in 2013 in a deal worth 15 million Euros. He was among the six Shakhtar players who refused to return to Donetsk in July 2014 as the Russia-Ukraine crisis escalated.
Arsenal double winner Gilberto Silva represents Fred. But Silva sees his role as “mentor first, agent second” to young Brazilians like Fred. The former Brazil holding midfielder has been quoted as saying: “Since I started working with Fred he’s been a big challenge for me as well, because it wasn’t my job.”
Fred tested positive for the diuretic hydrochlorothiazide at the 2015 Copa America. He was initially suspended for a year, backdated to the tournament. But after a lengthy process he was eventually suspended for four months between March and July 2017.