There is no greater argument for scrapping VAR than the pure joy on Fred’s face after he scored an absolutely lethal volley on his Turkish Super Lig debut for Fenerbahce.
The Brazilian midfielder waved an emotional goodbye to Manchester United earlier this month. He leaves Old Trafford as something of a modern-day cult hero.
“I know I’m not the best player, not the most technical, but I give my blood and my life every time I’m on the pitch. As we say in Brazil, I carry the piano for the artists to play,” Fred told Brazilian media last year.
How Manchester United’s midfield could’ve done with a player with that attitude as they toiled in their first outings of the post-Fred era.
But maybe it turned out he was an artist all along. At least on this evidence.
Drifting into the box, Fred did a more than passable Marco van Basten impression by volleying the ball with the fire of a thousand suns from about eight yards out. The keeper never stood a chance.
We’re delighted to inform you that Fred has turned into Van Basten after moving to Fenerbahce pic.twitter.com/eN62vX9TNZ
— Planet Football (@planetfutebol) August 21, 2023
You get the sense that Fred is going to enjoy himself with Fenerbahce. Just look at the absolute elation as he wheeled away to celebrate. Never mind that replays showed that he’d strayed marginally offside and the goal didn’t stand.
The Turkish top flight has long been a stage for one-time Premier League misfits to enjoy beautiful late-career acts. Last season’s top scorers chart featured Enner Valencia, Mbaye Diagne, Fabio Borini, Cenk Tosun and Michy Batshuayi.
Reigning champions Galatasaray have a squad that features Angelino, Lucas Torreira, Hakim Ziyech, Wilfried Zaha, Dries Mertens and Mauro Icardi.
Fred’s team-mates at Fenerbahce include Edin Dzeko, Ryan Kent, Dusan Tadic and Cengiz Under.
Besiktas? Gedson Fernandes, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Ante Rebic, Vincent Aboubakar and Cenk Tosun.
Forget the Premier League. This season we’re watching the Turkish Super Lig.