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05th Jun 2018

Man United near Fred signing, and it turns out there’s a different way of pronouncing his name

No, seriously, it turns out there really is a different way of saying 'Fred'

Simon Lloyd

We’ll level with you…

We wouldn’t blame you if, having read the headline, you’re wondering if what you’re about to read is a bit of a piss-take. It’s not, honest…

Manchester United are poised to complete their first major signing of the summer transfer window, Shakhtar Donetsk’s Brazilian midfielder, Fred.

This is a shortened version of his full name, Frederico Rodrigues de Paula Santos, although this hasn’t stopped plenty of people from commenting on how un-Brazilian ‘Fred’ might sound.

As it turns out, most of us have been pronouncing his abbreviated name incorrectly…

Now, we know what you’re thinking: how the hell do you manage not say ‘Fred’ correctly? Well, as pointed out by South American football expert Tim Vickery during the last World Cup four years ago, people in his homeland pronounce it very differently to English speakers.

With Brazil preparing to take on Chile in the last 16 stage of that tournament, an article in the Radio Times explained how football fans (and commentators) from these shores were almost certainly mispronouncing the names many of the then-host nation’s players.

A different Fred (the former Lyon striker) was in the Brazil’s squad at the time, and Vickery explained that – along with Real Madrid’s Marcelo and Chelsea’ Willian – his name was one of those to be mispronounced by many English speakers. Instead, he noted that the correct pronunciation would be “FRAY-zhee”.

Interesting, but will this make any of us change our ways? No, almost certainly not. We’ll stick to regular Fred, ta. As in Right Said and Dibnah.

Fred featured in Brazil’s World Cup warm-up match with Croatia at Anfield over the weekend, appearing as a second half substitute. He reportedly travelled to Manchester from Merseyside after the game in order to complete his medical with United.

Having since joined up with the rest of his national side in London, confirmation of his move to United is expected this soon.