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Fred explains how he keeps a positive headspace

 Frederico Rodrigues de Paula Santos
Frederico Rodrigues de Paula Santos Image credit:

Manchester United player Frederico Rodrigues de Paula Santos, more commonly known as Fred, has spoken about how he controls his wellbeing and the repercussions being a famous face on social media.

Fred is the latest player to be interviewed on the My Story series which saw the midfielder tackling the pressures which comes with playing for one of the most successful clubs in the country.

“I played at the World Cup for one of the biggest footballing nations, if not the biggest,” Fred explained.

“There are a lot of demands upon you, and, in football, there should be a lot demanded of you. The fans and press have a right to be demanding.

“You have to have a good head on your shoulders and know how to deal with these demands. Obviously there are people wanting to disparage you and put you down and you need a strong mind to deal with that.

“I'm someone who tries to block it out and focus on football, my mental health and the wellbeing of my family. I'm very relaxed about it all.”

With the cheers which comes from scoring goals comes the online bullying when play does not go plan on the pitch.

Fred, from Brazil, was the victim of such abuse in December 2019 when he made a mistake against Leicester in the FA Cup becoming a target for racial slurs.

Fortunately he has managed to rise above the disgusting behaviour polluting his feeds and timelines on social media.

“We live in a society where social media is everything, and where anyone can go on social media and abuse someone else - being racist, homophobic and bigoted,” Fred said. “Unfortunately, that happens these days.

“I see things but try not to let them get to me, leave them there on social media, I look at it sometimes but I don't not let it get to me or internalise it.

“I don't bring it home with me or let it affect my health as it would be harmful to me.”

Fred went on to offer advice to those being victimised online.

“The advice I'd give to young people would be to reduce your time on social media,’ he advised.

“At home with my family, when I'm with my son, I aim to spend as little time as possible on my phone or connected to anything. I try not to look at the news as it's not good for you.

“Phones take up a lot of our time… so spend time with your family away from your phones, step away from social media and, most importantly, be happy.”

Fred played three times for the Brazil under-20 team at the 2013 South American Youth Football Championship.