Rio de Janeiro, Jan 7 (IANS) Fluminense, who won the 2012 Brazilian League title, have one clear objective for 2013: To win the club's first Copa Libertadores crown.
Fred, captain and the team's leading scorer last term, alerted his team-mates about allowing their goal to become an obsession, reports Xinhua.
"With each year that passes, Fluminense become stronger, have more experience. But something that is a cause for concern is the mad obsession with the Libertadores," the 29-year-old said.
Fluminense came close to winning the competition in 2008, when they lost the final on penalties to Ecuadorian side LDU Quito. Last year, they were eliminated in the quarter-finals by Argentine club Boca Juniors.
This year the determination to win the competition is greater than ever. At 29, and having played for French club Lyon and the Brazilian national side, Fred claims never to have seen a group so dedicated to success as the current Fluminense squad.
"Everyone is working very hard, we are giving our all. I have hardly seen a pre-season so intense as this. But I'm sure it will be worth it," he said.
Fred was the league's leading scorer with 20 goals last season. He has been on the fringes of the Selecao team in recent times, but a strong Libertadores campaign could put him in contention for the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup.