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Fred relishing Copa America chance

Shakhtar Donetsk midfielder Fred has been called up to Brazil’s squad for the Copa America as a replacement for the injured Luiz Gustavo.

A knee problem sustained by Luiz Gustavo following the DFB-Pokal final – in which he scored during Wolfsburg’s 3-1 win – has ended his hopes of playing in the tournament, scans showing he will need surgery.

His place will be taken by Fred – who had been on the standby list – and the 22-year-old hopes to maintain his impressive club form on the international stage.

“Unfortunately it is because of the injury to a team-mate, but for me the news is very good. I am very happy,” he said.

“I have already worked extensively with [Brazil coach] Dunga. He helped me at Internacional, I helped him too. I had a good season in Ukraine.

“I changed some things playing in Europe, and changed for the better. Foreign football is different, it helped me evolve. I matured, grew and behaved better.

“It’s very good for a 22-year-old player to feature in a Copa America.

“At the moment I’m focused on the Copa America. It is important and if think of other things it will unravel.”

Brazil face Mexico and Honduras in friendlies prior to the Copa before tackling Peru a week on Sunday in their first group match.

Wed 3 Jun, 2015
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