BELO HORIZONTE, Brazil, (Reuters) – In-form striker Fred returns to the place where he made his name when Brazil face Uruguay in today’s Confederations Cup semi-final in Belo Horizonte and said he was treating the game as the final before the final.
“No doubt about it, I feel at home here,” said Fred, scorer of two goals in Saturday’s 4-2 win over Italy.
“I played here for America and Cruzeiro and I had great moments in this stadium. This is my first time in the new stadium (since its reform) and I am sure it will be a great atmosphere and I hope to score more goals.”
“There’s an atmosphere of a final about it,” he added. “We know it will be a difficult game because of the rivalry we have had over the years but we are at home and we are here to win the competition and we’ll dictate the rhythm from start to finish.”
Brazil and Uruguay have a rich history of competitive games and even though the tiny South American nation has a population 65 times smaller than Brazil’s the famously combative Uruguayans always relish facing their grander neighbour.
Fred said he was enjoying a new lease of life under Luiz Felipe Scolari after falling out of favour under previous coach Mano Menezes.
“Felipao likes centre forwards and he has given me lots of support,” Fred said. “He has assured me when I’ve had problems and when you have people who want to help you and who believe in you then you do all you can to show them that they are right and you try your hardest to help them.”
Scolari reinforced that support and said he simply wants Fred to keep scoring goals like he does at Fluminense, the current Brazilian champions.
“We know he is playing the way he does here at Fluminense, he is playing well and scoring goals,” Scolari said. “He is doing what he does for the team and I am happy with him. It’s great for all of us.”