Fabiano — Brazil’s new golden boy

Kaka might steal all the headlines but Luis Fabiano has emerged from the Confederations Cup as one of Brazil’s new golden boys.

The Sevilla striker was the tournament top scorer with five goals, including his crucial brace in the final on Sunday that helped Brazil recover from two down to beat the United States 3-2.

With his team in trouble, the athletic, lithe and technically gifted striker rose irresistibly to the challenge to underline his status as the undisputed number one goal-getter for the South American champions.

But it hasn’t always been so easy for Fabiano, who has battled with several other players, including injury-plagued star striker Ronaldo, for the coveted number nine shirt.

”He scores goals, he’s always doing it,” said his coach Dunga.

”I’m extremely happy with him. He is very hungry to play and get goals.”

The 28-year-old joins Romario, Ronaldinho and Adriano as the fourth Brazilian to go home from the Confederations Cup with the Golden Shoe.

He was also voted the tournament’s second best player, after new Real Madrid signing Kaka.

”I’m delighted that everything worked out as planned in the final,” he told Fifa.com.

”I hadn’t scored in my two previous games but as it turned out there was no better way for me to reach that target of five goals in as many games.”

With a successful Confederations Cup defence under their belt, Brazil are now looking towards the World Cup and the possibility of a sixth title.

Fabiano is excited at the prospect and has set his own personal goal of scoring a goal a game if Brazil qualify and make it back to South Africa next year.

”It would be nice to keep the average going at the World Cup here next year. I’ll be working hard to do just that,” he vowed.

Despite his prolific performances, the man they call O Fabuloso is taking nothing for granted as far as his and Brazil’s participation in next year’s showpiece tournament is concerned.

”We still haven’t made sure of qualification yet and there’s still a year to go before the finals. All I know is that in a country like Brazil nothing is ever certain and that you always have to fight for your place.”

With Ronaldo making a successful comeback at Corinthians, and fellow veterans Adriano and Fred also still playing well, Fabiano is taking nothing for granted.

He said the best way to keep his place was to keep the goals flowing.

”Scoring goals is my life. It’s my job,” he said.

”It’s what I’m expected to do. And if my goals can help us achieve more wins like today, then I’ll be a happy man.” — Sapa, AFP

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