Nemanja Matic and Fred are already building bridges toward their future partnership at the 2018 World Cup.
However, while the pair may well be partnered in the heart of Manchester United’s midfield next season, on Wednesday they were adversaries as Fred’s Brazil faced off against Matic and Serbia with a place in the knockout stage on the line.
Fred was unable to feature as he recovers from the injury he received in the lead up to the tournament, but Matic started and went the distance in a 2-0 loss.
Serbia's defeat meant the end to their World Cup, as they finished third in Group E with three points, while Brazil advance as group winners to face Mexico in the round of 16.
Despite the disappointment, after the match, Matic and Fred linked up, and the Serbia international gave his Brazil counterpart his jersey.
Fred revealed the encounter on Instagram where he posted an image of the jersey and thanked Matic for it, saying: “Thanks my bro, Nemanja Matic” and tagging his account in the post.
Mexico lacs any Manchester United players, so Fred won't have the same opportunity in the next round. However, should Brazil advance, there is the possibility he may run up against one of his team-mates in the quarter-finals.
Either Belgium or England will go through as Group G winners and, provided they get past Japan, would face Brazil in the quarter-finals. A date with England would see Fred and Brazil square off against Marcus Rashford, Ashley Young, Phil Jones and Jesse Lingard.
Should Brazil see Belgium, Romelu Luaku and Marouane Fellaini would be present, though the latter is not guaranteed to return to Old Trafford next season.