Having turned 28 earlier this year, Fred is a regular starter in midfield for both Manchester United and now the Brazil national team.
As he targets trophies at club and international level, retirement will be far from our no.17’s mind, but he recently revealed to us that he does have a plan for when he hangs up his boots.
These days, many players turn to coaching as they seek to pass on the knowledge they’ve learned from their years in the game.
Punditry is also a popular choice, with social media and satellite TV providing more platforms for opinion than ever before.
Fred, however, isn’t thinking about going down those lines. Instead, he’s looking to resume his education, which was something he had to put on hold to pursue a career in football.
“My parents always said that I had to study. I wasn’t the best of students, but I wanted, and still want, to achieve something,” Fred said in our recent ‘My Story’ interview.
“When I turned professional at Internacional, I could afford to go to university and I passed the entrance exam.
“I only completed two semesters before being transferred to Shakhtar [Donetsk, in 2013], but I would really like to go back. As soon as I retire, I’ll look to go back or start again rather.
“Back to studying, do something else, go back to university as there’s life after football, it’s important we have knowledge in our lives.”
Our midfielder is clearly a thoughtful, considered character, as comes across in the interview, which you can watch in the video above.
Fred acknowledges the support his family gave him growing up, for example, and also has opinions on social media, racism and how United’s senior players can provide guidance to our youngsters.
He still recalls the most valuable piece of advice he was ever given himself, when coming through the ranks at first club Internacional.
“I had a coach who was also a player. He joined soon after I’d turned professional at Inter,” he continued.
“It was Fernandão, a former Internacional player.
Fernandao, a former Brazil international, was Fred’s manager at Internacional but sadly passed away in 2014.
“He put me in the first team and would always talk to me and I’ll never forget his great advice. He told me to never lose this desire to play football, he saw me running, saw the desire I had.
“He told me that I was blessed and that I should never stop playing football with such desire, joy, and with a smile and that I’d go far and make history doing this.
“It was advice from one of my main coaches that helped me a lot and I’m really grateful to him for this.
“Unfortunately he is no longer with us [Fernandão passed away in a helicopter accident at the age of 36].
“I’m grateful for what he said to me as it helped me a lot.”