Manchester United midfielder Fred has admitted that he found it “difficult” adapting to the volume of games played across the hectic festive period, in England.
The Brazilian international had become accustomed to a three-month winter break during his time playing for Ukrainian side Shakhtar Donetsk.
But after joining United in the summer of 2018 for £47m (BBC Sport), United’s number 17 quickly realised how thick and fast the games come in England, after the November international break.
Speaking to the club’s official website about his adaption to the relentless winter schedule, Fred said: “It was difficult at first, as we used to have holidays at the end of the year and I could spend Christmas with my family in Brazil, which was really important.
“My first season here was quite difficult. My family came over and I managed to spend Christmas with them, though there was no holiday.
“But I think that’s part of football, for those of us who aim for the top. I’m already at a great club and part of a great team, so I’m not bothered if that means I have to spend Christmas here in the cold.”
Fred also acknowledged that this was an “important period” for United with there being a lot of games and points to play for.
Challenges ahead for Fred
Prior to this season, the 28-year-old played a key part under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in helping United reach the Carabao Cup semi-finals in back-to-back campaigns, which added to United’s jam-packed schedule.
But after crashing out to West Ham, in the third round of this year’s competition, United will now have nine days between the home against Brighton later this month and the trip to Newcastle on 27th December.
The Carabao Cup quarter-finals will be played in between those two Premier League gameweeks, which means Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Leicester, Tottenham and West Ham, will all have to rotate their squads.
Having qualified for the Champions League last-16 as Group F winners, Fred and other regular first teamers could potentially be given a night off by Ralf Rangnick.
Following Brazil’s qualification for next winter’s World Cup in Qatar, Fred and many of his United team mates are going to have adapt accordingly for both club and country.
That’s because club football will pause after the weekend of November 12-13. As many as 16 leagues game will have been played, with the season kicking off on August 6.
The opening game of the 2022 World Cup will take place on Monday November 21. The 2022 World Cup final, which Fred will be hoping Brazil are in, will be played on Sunday December 18.
The Premier League resumes on Boxing Day, with the season finishing on May 28.
Fred may feel the England calendar is frantic currently, but nothing is going to compare to the rigorous campaign of next season.
- Uruguay manager and South American press react to Facundo Pellistri's debut performance
- Manchester United warned 'extraordinary offer' required to sign midfielder
- Karim Benzema sends message to Manchester United star
- Report: Young Manchester United forward set for medical ahead of imminent loan move
- Manager delighted to sign 'wonderful' Manchester United defensive talent on loan