Stats: Thierry Henry talks up Brazil flop Fred - he does things!

Fluminense forward Fred, the strike partner of Barcelona golden boy Neymar in the World Cup, has been defended by Arsenal legend.

While the World Cup tournament remains in it's embryonic stage there are a number of athletes who have failed to shone despite having star status.

Players like England forward Wayne Rooney and Spain pass master Xavi all have big reputations yet have returned substandard outings for their respective nations, but they are not alone as Fluminense forward Fred has also flopped in two games for host country Brazil.

BBC pundit Thierry Henry, though, is insistent that he "does the things that people don't see… he helps Neymar score."

A legend at Arsenal and also with France due to his international honours, Henry added: "[Fred] drags players out of position with his runs… he took [Vedran] Corluka away [when Brazil played] Croatia.

"If he didn't do that, Neymar wouldn't have scored. Really, that's Fred's goal - Neymar knows it."

  NationOpponentTouchPoor TouchPoss LostPassPass AccShotsShot AccAssistMins
Fred Brazil Croatia 22 1 10 16 50.0% 2 50.0% 0 68
Fred Brazil Mexico 20 3 7 14 71.4% 0 0.0% 0 90

Fred's statistics in his two 2014 World Cup games to date have been woeful.

In the 3-1 win over Croatia, he only had 22 touches on the football (one of which were unsuccessful), he lost possession ten times, only completed 50% of his 16 passes (eight successful), had two shots on goal (one missed the target) and scored no assists. He was withdrawn after 68 minutes.

Brazil recently drew 0-0 with Mexico and, despite enjoying more pitch-time, Fred had even less touches on the football, more unsuccessful touches, less passes and did not even attempt a shot on goal.

Speaking before the game, Henry believes that Fred's effectiveness is not summed up with how many - or how few - touches Fred has, but how effective he is without the football.

"This is a great example of being efficient without touching the ball," the Frenchman concluded.

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