Twenty-two-year-old Brazilian striker Fred netted his first World Cup goal on Sunday less than a minute after entering Brazil’s match against Australia in Munich.
Fred came in for Adriano in the 88th minute, and seconds later he was touching the ball into an open net after Robinho’s low shot from close range rebounded off the post.
Fred celebrated wildly, sprinting toward his teammates with his arms high in the air and briefly covering his face with his jersey.
"It was a magical moment for me, a moment of euphoria," Fred said Monday, June 19. "It was cool that all the players (on the bench) came to hug me, I could see how they were happy for me that I scored that goal."
The Lyon player tried to sneak out of the stadium with the ball of the match, but FIFA officials saw him and kept him from taking it.
"I was going to keep it for my father," he said. "I would get all the players to autograph it (for him), but I couldn’t do it, that’s OK."
Fred said he had "a hard time sleeping" after the match because of the several messages and calls he got from friends and relatives in Brazil.
"Everybody was crying back home, everybody was happy when I called after the match," he said. "They have been supporting me since the beginning of my career, even before I was a player … It’s something very moving, it makes me very happy."
Brazil won the match 2-0, Adriano had netted the team’s first goal in the 49th minute, and advanced to the second round. The defending champion will play Japan on Thursday in its last Group F match. A draw will secure the team a first-place finish.
Fred is considered the 23rd-man in Brazil’s roster, and the fourth striker behind Ronaldo, Adriano and Robinho.
The goal was his second in only three appearances with the national team.
"Nothing can beat this," he said. "It’s the realization of a childhood dream."
Brazil arrived at its new training camp in Bergisch Gladbach on Monday. The team’s starters underwent physical training in the gym, while Fred and the other second-stringers had a light practice session on the field.
Fred, whose full name is Frederico Chavez Guedez, transferred from Brazil’s Cruzeiro to five-time French champion Lyon in 2005 in deal reportedly worth US$ 15.1 million.
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