Fred was not called up to Brazil’s squad for the first time since 2018 simply to make up the numbers. He is a key part of manager Tite’s plans.

After starting the last two World Cup qualifiers in early June, Fred retained his starting place for the opening game of the Copa America.

He helped Brazil to a 3-0 victory over Venezuela and played 86 minutes.

This was his longest stretch in his three games in June. In Brazil’s recent qualifier he was substituted at half-time after receiving a booking.

Brazil v Venezuela: Group B - Copa America Brazil 2021
(Photo by Buda Mendes/Getty Images)

Fred kept out of the referee’s notebook in this game and only conceded one foul.

He won six duels and touched the ball 94 times as he kept Brazil’s game ticking over.

Fred ended the game making more passes than any player on the pitch, with 74 in total. He completd 91 per cent of his passes and created one chance.

 

He was substituted late on with Liverpool’s Fabinho coming on in his place.

Marquinhos, Neymar (penalty) and Gabriel Barbosa scored Brazil’s goals in the 3-0 win.

Next up in the Copa America

This was Fred’s 12th cap for Brazil and he seemed to do enough to retain his spot for the next group game.

Brazil’s next Copa America game is against Peru at 1am on Friday morning (UK time).

Manchester United teammate Edinson Cavani has to wait until Saturday for his first game.

Cavani’s Uruguay take on Argentina on June 19 at 1am. They then face Chile on Monday 21 at 10pm.

Have something to tell us about this article?