Brazil striker Fred out to boost Golden Boot ambitions
Luis Felipe Scolari’s decision to select a squad of mostly Brazil-based players for the Selecao’s friendly with South Africa could see Fluminense forward Fred cement his place in the Samba Boys starting 11 for the finals and showcase why he is considered a dark horse for the Golden Boot.
Ronaldinho’s hopes of making the cut may have faded after his exclusion from the group set to play in Soccer City, Johannesburg this Wednesday but Fred faces a bright future as the focal point of the Brazil attack this summer.
It’s a position that is not unwarranted given the manner in which the former Lyon man has stepped up to the plate for Scolari’s side, with a tally of nine goals in 10 games for Brazil last year putting him ahead of rival Hulk, who has so far failed to consistently deliver for the national team.
Another solid showing against the Bafana Bafana could all but guarantee him a starting place and Fred will be desperate to get among the goals, with the 30-year-old a tempting 4/1 shot with Ladbrokes to score first against South Africa.
The forward certainly showed his worth at the Confederations Cup, notching up five goals to finish as top scorer and while over the years the best marksmen at the FIFA competition has never gone on to claim the Golden Boot at a subsequent World Cup finals, there is a case to make for the player who is on at 25/1 with Ladbrokes.
Fred certainly has the mental strength for the big occasion as braces against Italy and, more notably, a full-strength Spain team at the Confederations Cup last year demonstrated.
In fact, the forward appears to save his goals for some of the sternest opposition available in world football, netting against Uruguay, Russia, England and Argentina over the past 12 months.
And while his time in Europe with Lyon may have come to a premature end his tally of 33 goals in 88 appearances for a team with whom he won three league titles suggests he was far from a flop on the continent.
Romario spent just two seasons with Barcelona – if Fred can emulate his success on the world stage then he may not only capture the golden boot, but also a World Cup winner’s medal.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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