Former Lyon striker Fred talks about his return to Brazil with Fluminense.
Why did you decide to come back to Brazil?
First of all for personal reasons, to be with my family, especially my daughter. Secondly because the World Cup is around the corner. Third, because I wanted to regain the pleasure of playing football, which I had lost a bit there at Lyon.
You had previously said that you would only come back to play in the Libertadores. Why did you change your mind?
Actually, when I spoke of Brazil I only thought of Cruzeiro, because of my great relationship with the fans. I longed for this sort of support. This sort of love. I called Cruzeiro and asked to come home but they never presented any sort of project, proposal, or anything.
Then there was Palmeiras,Gremio, more talk...but after Christmas Alexandre Faria, a friend, told me of Fluminense.
I got excited and thought "I'm going to Flu". Got on the internet and saw pictures of the fans and imagined myself with that kit in the Maracana with the fans screaming my name, winning titles...mushy huh? (laughs)
I put this in my head and it worked out.
Why do you think the national squad became so distant to you?
Injuries. Did five or six matches then I got hurt and went without playing for three months.
Did some intensive treatment went to Copa America but then I got hurt again and three more months away.
Then it was over because I was practically a season away. This was my lost chance to become a permanent fixture on the national squad.
Players who come back to Brazil like Ronaldo or Adriano seem to have trouble with the night life. Does this worry you?
I like to party. I am no saint.
It is possible to be an athlete, enjoy your family, and also party, grab some girlfriends, all in a calm fashion.
You can't just work without an outlet. You can't let yourself turn gay either...just can't happen. Keep your balance.
Do you think there is a great disparity between Brazilian and European football?
I think that as far as national championships go only the Spanish league is a little better. It's like an improved Brazilian league.
How about the EPL?
No, the English league is ugly. There's no quality, it's a brawl, ball in the air, long sprints...
Would you ever return to Lyon?
No. What I did at Lyon is good enough. Done.
What do you plan for the rest of your carrier?
Just think about Fluminense. Of course I won't deny that one day I may leave, but for now it's where I want to be, make history, become an idol, I feel at home here.
My objective is to be champion, next year play the Libertadores and end things with a World Cup.
What if you are not called [to the national squad]?
Normal. What can I do? Sad, yeah? It's the objective I set since my return–to play for the selecao. If it happens well great. If it doesn't I can't do anything.