Fred says goodbye to football with victory and in the arms of the crowd

Fred says goodbye to football with victory and in the arms of the crowd

There were 417 goals in 827 matches as a professional football player. At the age of 38, Frederico Guedes Chaves ended his career the same way he started it: winning. It was like that on January 26, 2003, when he debuted for América-MG, against Guarani-MG, in Divinópolis (MG), for the Campeonato Mineiro.Fred says goodbye to football with victory and in the arms of the crowd

And it was no different last Saturday (9), at Maracanã, in Rio de Janeiro. As 19 years ago, Fred came off the bench and celebrated a triumph – 2×1 – after the final whistle. This time, over Ceará, for the 16th round of the Brazilian Championship.

The emotional context left in the background the fact that the tricolor carioca reached the fifth consecutive victory and provisionally assumed the vice-leadership of the competition, with 27 points, two less than Palmeiras. Ceará, which has not lost in 11 games in the Brasileirão, continues with 18 points, in 16th, and could end the weekend in the relegation zone if Atlético-GO scores or if Cuiabá wins in the round.

Fred was called by coach Fernando Diniz in the 30th minute of the second half, entering the field two minutes later, to the explosion of the more than 63,000 fans at Maracanã – many of them with masks alluding to the idol, shouting “Fred will get you!” .

Fluminense was already winning by 2×0, with tributes to the star of the night in both goals. The first was by Germán Cano, who gave place to Fred in the final stage. The second goal came from the feet of fellow striker Matheus Martins.

In the 37th minute, using the captain’s armband, Fred fought for the ball on the left, but the crossing attempt exploded in the defense. Two minutes later, the veteran complained, in a joking tone, with striker Caio Paulista, who hit a cross close to Ceará’s goal. In the 40’s, the striker appeared in his own area to help the defense to fend off the corner hit by midfielder Vina. At every moment, the teammates looked for the idol to help him say goodbye with a goal, which did not happen.

Party and excitement at the end of the game

In extra time, defender Luís Otávio still discounted for Ceará: 2×1. Nothing, however, that interfered with the party. The final whistle by referee Luiz Flávio de Oliveira started the tributes. First, Fred got on a bike to take an Olympic lap at Maracanã, in reference to his return to Fluminense, in 2020, when he cycled from Belo Horizonte (he defended Cruzeiro) to Rio de Janeiro. He then set foot on the stadium’s Walk of Fame and watched videos with messages from players and club staff.

“In 2009 [quando o Fluminense escapou da queda à Série B do Brasileiro], it was like a title for us. Everyone gave us as demoted. You [torcedores] filled the Maracanã and rebuilt us. We formed the champion team in 2010, vice in 2011 and champion in 2012. [Vocês me] gave the opportunity to be champion with the Brazilian team in this stadium [em 2013, na Copa das Confederações]. In 2014 [após a Copa do Mundo no Brasil], it was the most difficult professional moment of my life. Everyone said I was finished except you. In 2019, I had the decision to stop. I had gained eight kilos. Only you chose me again”, declared Fred, on the lawn, before praising the tricolor cast.

“I’m sure this team will be champions this year. I’m not talking about what we’re playing, but how much you [jogadores] work, warriors. Fernando [Diniz, técnico do Flu]thank you for everything you are doing, all the players”, completed the Fluminense idol, who went into the arms of the crowd at the end of the tribute.

Fred in numbers

The maroon shirt is the one that Fred wore the most. The game against Ceará was the 382nd for Fluminense, a club for which he scored 199 goals and for which he is the top scorer in official matches, in addition to being the second in history – Waldo, a striker in the 50s, hit the net 319 times. There were two visits to Laranjeiras. In the first, between 2009 and 2016, in addition to the national titles, he was Rio champion in 2012. The return took place in 2020, with this year’s State trophy being the last of his career.

Revealed by América-MG, in 2003, Fred also defended Cruzeiro, Atlético-MG and Lyon (France). At Cruzeiro, he was a two-time champion of Minas Gerais (2018 and 2019) and won the 2018 Copa do Brasil, all in his second spell at the celestial club (the first was between 2004 and 2005). At Galo, he won the 2017 state title. In Europe, he was three-time French champion (2005/06, 2006/07 and 2007/08) and lifted the 2008 Coupe de France trophy.

Fred ended his career as the top scorer in the Brazilian Championship in the era of consecutive points (since 2003) and the second in the history of the competition, with 158 goals, behind only Roberto Dinamite, from Vasco (190). He is also the top scorer of the Copa do Brasil, with 37 goals, one more than Romario.

For the Brazilian national team, Fred made 40 matches and 18 goals. Three are among the most outstanding of his career. One of them decided the victory – 2×0 – over Australia, in the first phase of the 2006 World Cup, in Germany. The other two were scored in the final of the Confederations Cup – 3×0 – over Spain, at Maracanã.

Goiás wins Athletico-PR

In another match on Saturday for the Brasileirão, Goiás beat Athletico-PR at the Serrinha stadium, in Goiânia, by 2-1. Forwards Pedro Raul and Nícolas scored for the Goiás team, while midfielder David Terans scored for Hurricane, who lost the chance to take the provisional lead and was defeated again after almost two months undefeated.

The people of Paraná fell to third place, with the same 27 points as Fluminense, falling behind on goal difference and can still be overtaken by Atlético-MG, Corinthians and Internacional in the sequence of the round. The Goiás team advanced six positions in the classification and appears in 11th, with 20 points, moving away from the relegation zone.

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