Maracana bids emotional farewell to former Brazil striker Fred

BUENOS AIRES, July 9 (Xinhua) — Fluminense striker Fred expressed gratitude to his former clubs and teammates as he drew the curtain on his 20-year professional career on Saturday.

The former Brazil No.9 made his last appearance as a professional footballer in Fluminense’s 2-1 home victory over Ceara in Brazil’s Serie A championship on Saturday.

“I promised myself I wouldn’t cry to try to express my gratitude,” Fred told reporters after the game at Rio de Janeiro’s Maracana stadium.

Having been introduced as a 78th-minute substitute for Argentine striker German Cano, Fred had little influence on the match.

But that didn’t stop a near-capacity crowd from chanting his name during the final minutes.

“I don’t think I’m worthy of all this, I didn’t expect any of it,” Fred said. “What Fluminense have done for me is priceless, this debt is eternal, there’s no way I can repay it.”

“I would just like to thank my teammates, opponents, other clubs too, and the Brazilian team. To everyone who was part of it [my career], I’m eternally grateful. Football has given me everything.”

Fred made 271 appearances and scored 130 goals over two separate spells at Fluminense. He was capped 39 times for Brazil and scored 18 international goals in a career that also included spells at Lyon, Atletico Mineiro and Cruzeiro.