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Fred's first blood for Lyon

Published: Monday 12 September 2005, 16.37CET
Olympique Lyonnais' new Brazilian striker Fred is set for a UEFA Champions League bow after marking his Ligue 1 arrival with two debut goals.
by Christian Châtelet
from Paris
 

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Published: Monday 12 September 2005, 16.37CET

Fred's first blood for Lyon

Olympique Lyonnais' new Brazilian striker Fred is set for a UEFA Champions League bow after marking his Ligue 1 arrival with two debut goals.
Olympique Lyonnais' new Brazilian striker Fred announced his arrival with two goals on his Ligue 1 debut this weekend.

Huge fee
With the French champions having paid their second-highest transfer fee for the Cruzeiro EC youngster last month, the player nicknamed 'Goal Man' began justifying the €15m investment within four minutes of kick-off against AS Monaco FC.

Quick return
Fred - full name Frederico Chaves Guedes - latched on to a back-heel from Sidney Govou after four minutes to score from close range on Saturday, then converted Jérémy Berthod's cross with a neat header early in the second half as Lyon won 2-1 at Stade Gerland.

Fred delighted
Hardly surprisingly, Fred was more than satisfied with his first day's work, and particularly his second effort. "This second goal was a moment of great euphoria that put me in touch with God and my team-mates," said the 21-year-old.

Famous goal
Few who had seen Fred in action back in Brazil would deny there was something other-worldly about the former América FC forward. He has been making headlines ever since 12 January 2003, when he scored the quickest goal in Brazilian history with a strike from the halfway line after just 3.17 seconds.

Early call-up
That goal led to him being called straight into América's first team and he duly registered the winner on his first senior appearance. It was not to be his last. In his next 43 games for América and Cruzeiro, he hit a phenomenal 40 goals.

Brazilians welcomed
Monaco, FC Nantes Atlantique and Olympique de Marseille were all in the hunt for Fred's signature as he pondered a move to Europe, but the player's agent - and brother - Rodrigo chose Lyon. "I know Brazilians are warmly welcomed here," he said.

Grand reception
Lyon have plenty of Brazilian players and for Fred's Gerland debut, he was greeted with a huge Brazilian flag which supporters had set up behind the goal. Moreover, he may not feel homesick in France as both his brother and sister Katrina have joined him in his adopted city.

Cris pleased
Fred's transfer has also been welcomed by one of his old Cruzeiro colleagues, Cris, a defensive mainstay at Lyon. "He has two good feet, a good sense of positioning, and is strong in the air," the centre-back said. "He's a really good asset for us."

Pressure on
However, even in the familiar Lyon environment, Fred will be under pressure. With Brazilian prodigies Deivid and Nilmar - who also scored twice on his debut - both having had abortive spells in Ligue 1 recently, success is far from guaranteed.

'I'm ready'
Still, Fred is confident he will make his mark. "I'm ready for Le Championnat and also for the UEFA Champions League," he said. He is likely to start on the bench against Real Madrid CF on Tuesday, when he will be keen to show Saturday's exertions were no fluke.

Last updated: 12/09/05 23.22CET

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