Former Philadelphia Union fan favorite Fred (full name Helbert Frederico Carreiro da Silva or just Fred da Silva)
officially made his way back to Australia on Wednesday.
da Silva returns to a country where he first made his name, internationally, in professional soccer, scoring four times in 17 games for Melbourne Victory. That form grabbed the attention of MLS' DC United, who signed Fred to a contract in 2007 and were rewarded with 11 goals over 72 games between 2007 and 2009. A stint with the Union followed a SuperDraft day trade between United and Philadelphia. The Brazilian quickly became a fan favorite in his new city, only to leave at the end of the season and make another appearance at United.
A release clause in his 2011 DC contract allowed Fred to leave if an international team had interested and Melbourne Heart signed the creative midfielder. Heart are the rivals of Fred's former team, Victory, putting Fred in a precarious situation with the same fans who years ago chanted his name with supporter love.
"I am a little bit scared, but they have to know we are professionals," Fred said told Australia's Herald Sun.
"Everyone changes teams and hopefully they understand what happened. When we step on the field it's a job and we have to do the best to try to win and get three points."
The 32-year-old is due to make 200,000 AUD ($210,140) this season, the third time he will play in the A-League in his career.