Fred sent a message by Manchester United staff ahead of Copa America final

 Fred is expected to start in the Copa America final for Brazil tonight against Argentina, having enjoyed a fine tournament.


Manchester United coach Michael Carrick is pleased for Fred as he prepares to start for Brazil in the Copa America final against Argentina.

Fred has lined up in five of Brazil's six games in the Copa and was rested for the final group game with qualification for the quarter-finals already assured.

Brazil coach Tite had not named Fred in a squad for over two-and-a-half years but the United midfielder has cemented himself in the side ahead of Liverpool linchpin Fabinho.

Carrick retired a month before United completed the signing of Fred in 2018 and he has played a key role in overseeing the 28-year-old's improvement into a midfield mainstay under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

"It's terrific from Fred," Carrick said. "Full credit to him, he's worked ever so hard. He's such a great personality and character. He's had to work hard here to establish himself.

"It's a huge game, obviously, in that part of the world and hopefully he can do what he's been doing, win a trophy as well and we can have four boys coming back with a spring in their step ready to hit the season hard."

Carrick only played 34 times for England and was inexplicably omitted from their 2012 European Championship squad but produced a highly acclaimed performance in the round-of-16 win over Ecuador at the 2006 World Cup, one of just six knockout victories at a tournament between the 1966 World Cup final and the 2018 World Cup.

England have won five knockout ties at two successive tournaments under Gareth Southgate and Carrick has been impressed by how the squad has handled expectations during the European Championship.

"They're in the final so they've handled it great," Carrick added. "Being at Wembley obviously gives a different challenge, there's positives and there's slight negatives in the fact there's expectations.

"But, to be honest, it's not really negative, it's what you thrive on, it's where you want to be as a player. It's the stuff of dreams for an England player to be involved in a home semi-final and home final on the back of a pandemic when everyone's been shut off from each other.

"To see the atmosphere over the last couple of games at Wembley has been incredible. I'm sure Sunday will be even greater than that. I just hope the lads and the team can finish the job off."

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