Brazil striker Fred fit for England friendly
Rio de Janeiro: Brazil striker Fred has declared himself ready to start in Sunday`s international friendly against England at the revamped Maracana Stadium, despite nursing a broken rib.
The 29-year-old Fluminense frontman suffered the injury during the early stages of his side`s 1-2 defeat to Olimpia in Rio Wednesday, a result that eliminated the Rio outfit from Copa Libertadores.
"It`s difficult but it`s important to make the sacrifice. Pain is normal. Every player knows what it`s like to play through it. I am able to play normally. If I cop a knock I will have to grin and bear it until the end," Fred said during Brazil`s training session at Flamengo`s Gavea base Friday.
England also have their share of injury concerns with forwards Jermain Defoe (achilles), Danny Wellbeck (knee) and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (calf) in doubt for Sunday`s match. The team`s dearth of attacking options means coach Roy Hodgson could deploy Arsenal`s Theo Walcott as a central striker and Rooney in a deep-lying role.
Walcott trained in an advanced position at the Urca military base Friday and admits he would relish the opportunity be England`s target man at the Maracana.
"It will be fantastic. I said I wanted to play up front. People say I have played up front, but I have had limited opportunities this year I have played on the wing and got most of my goals from there. Playing for England in any position is a dream. The manager picks the team and whoever plays will go out and do a job and hope to win. I have had a go in training, so we will see," Walcott said.
"I think I am the top English scorer in the Premier League. My confidence is good and that was from playing on the wing. I will play anywhere for club and country and the goal-scoring side of things have got much better."
Both Brazil and England will train at the Maracana Saturday ahead of the friendly, which will be the Maracana`s official reopening after three years of refurbishment work.