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By ESPN Staff

Fred: Pele would be booed in this team

Fred has defended himself against the fierce criticism he endured during Brazil's ignominious end to the World Cup after announcing his retirement from international football, claiming "even Pele would have been booed" had he been in the current Selecao side.

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Brazil were thrashed 7-1 by Germany in the semifinal before losing 3-0 to Netherlands in the third-place playoff on Saturday.

That failure to win the trophy on home soil has led to speculation over the futures of many of those involved, with TV Globo reporting on Sunday night that head coach Luiz Felipe Scolari will not be given a new contract after his current deal expired at the end of the tournament.

Jeered when substituted against Germany, Fred was spared more of the home fans' ire against the Dutch as he remained on the bench in Brasilia.

Match 63
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After finishing last year's Confederations Cup as top scorer, the Fluminense forward failed to meet expectations as he struck only once in six outings at the World Cup, and repeatedly found himself the focal point for public and press barracking.

The 30-year-old said he felt the criticism directed at him personally should have been aimed at the whole of Scolari's squad.

"We weren't good in the final two games. But the criticism should be directed at the whole squad, not this or that individual," Fred, who scored 18 times in 39 appearances for his country, told O Estado de Sao Paulo. "Of course I have my part of responsibility for this failure, but it's shared. Our squad did not work.

"I was whistled at when I was taken off at 5-0 down against Germany. But who wouldn't have been in such a surreal context? Even Pele would have been booed by the fans if he had endured such an evening. In any case, it certainly wasn't only Fred's fault."


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