Dani Alves, in his presentation to Pumas: “I am a person who likes to leave a commissioner”

Dani Alves with Pumas president Leopoldo Silva this Saturday during his presentation at Pumas facilities.

Dani Alves juxtaposed with Pumas president Leopoldo Silva this Saturday during his presentation at Pumas facilities. LUIS CORTÉS (REUTERS)

From the Martian rumor to Dani Alves on the lawn of the Ciudad Universitaria. The Pumas unveiled the most important signing in their history during a celebratory trip this Saturday. The 39-year-old Brazilian took on an unlikely fearlessness for a team accustomed to producing instead of buying players.

“Thank you to the president [de Pumas, Leopoldo Silva] for bringing me to this occasion. I am a person who goes beyond football, I am a person who likes to leave a commissioner to the youngest,” Alves said in his uniform. “Let’s go, Pumas!” a presentation escorted by young footballers from the representative club of the Autonomous Domestic University of Mexico, the largest in Latin America.

Dani Alves’ first appearance in Mexico was to don the mask of El Santo, a sign of Mexican emancipated struggle. The country greeted him with an avalanche of fans looking for a selfie or something similar at the Mexico City airport. Alves’ first dribbles didn’t happen on the pitch, but on the polished floor of Terminal 1, where he outmaneuvered all the fans and exited through another door. His private driver showed him the exterior of the Orgulloso Universitario stadium and the relief mural of comedian Diego Rivera that adorns Pumas Court.

Less than 24 hours after winning Mexico, Dani Alves showed up at his new club’s facilities at 9am on a Saturday morning. More than one sports journalist has been caught in the middle of a hangover. Alves, considered by the Mexican club’s team as the best signing in its history, signed his consent and carried out his first training session with his new teammates. The Brazilian’s magnetic smile never wavered in the intense midday heat of Mexico City. The club’s workforce has agreed on one thing: the Brazilian’s sympathy.

Brazilian defender Dani Alves practiced a few passes with the Pumas academy.Brazilian defender Dani Alves has practiced a few passes with the Pumas quarry. Mexico (EFE)

I come from a small town [Juazeiro, en el Estado de Bahía] where many people want to go out and in. Football changed my life. I accepted the university challenge, as I told you privately, because it is the union of society where you can dream,” commented Alves, owner of number 33.

Alves was protected by the Rebel, one of Mexico’s most dangerous Counter Bravas, with a batucada, trumpets and huge flags. The jubilation of the group of Pumas supporters was one of those days when the club beat their most hated rival by a landslide. “In addition to his football, Dani brings personality, experience, a thirst for victory and a desire to succeed. This will be passed on,” commented Pumas president Leopoldo Silva.

The Pumas were able to negotiate with Alves after the Brazilian was fired by Barcelona. Uni was all over him the whole time until they seduced him for the past few weeks.

“It’s rare that he comes to the Pumas, he never brings numbers and in addition he is Brazilian! He is a great athlete,” says Ms. Yolanda Montaño, 57, who slipped into Alves’ presentation thanks to her daughter Mar Moya who plays in the cheerful women’s team. “We had the rumor for a long time, but we didn’t think a man of his size would come,” he added. Santiago Acosta, a 14-year-old Pumas athlete, managed to sign the Brazilian, who still suffers from jet lag, with shin guards. “Not all of them were signed, huh,” he said. The footballer’s introduction lasted five minutes, enough to boost the Cougars’ hopes of returning after 11 years without winning a draw.

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