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Dani Alves officially back training with Pumas

The 39 year old Brazilian RB has returned to Mexico to play out his second season with the UNAM club.

Puebla v Pumas UNAM - Torneo Apertura 2022 Liga MX Photo by Hector Vivas/Getty Images

Fresh off his third World Cup with the Brazilian NT, veteran Dani Alves has made his return to Mexico to play out the remainder of his 1 year contract signed back in July with Pumas. This was for sure the biggest question mark and sought after story of the entire World Cup break in Liga MX.

It was no secret Alves chose Pumas a few months back due to the guarantee he would get key minutes in order to attract the attention of Brazil head coach Tite. His strategy worked out to perfection, as the star RB was considered for a spot and eventually made the trip to Qatar with the Scratch du Oro. And not only did he make the trip, but played the full Cameroon match and a half hour of the Round of 16 match against South Korea.

With the World Cup now behind us and his objective completed, many imagined Alves would be looking to play elsewhere as his playing career winds down, despite still having a semester left on his contract with Pumas. Those expectations were subverted (to say the least) a few days ago when he announced on his instagram account he was coming back for a second round with the UNAM, and closed with “We’ll see each other very soon @pumasmx boyzz.”

The question then became: just how soon? Well, he arrived in Mexico City just a day later (Sunday, Jan. 1), and on top of that, also took part in the club’s first practice of 2023 yesterday. Quite a fast resolution if you ask me.

In the end, it’s great news for a quality-starved Liga MX, who after Mexico’s disappointing World Cup performance, should be looking to make it up to fans as much as possible. Dani Alves sticking around for a few more months is a start.

This despite not much being expected from the universitario club for the season. Not only have they been unable to add much needed talent to their roster (just keeper Sebastián Sosa and MF Jesús Molina), but let’s not forget new head coach Rafa Puente Jr. will also be making his debut with the club. We’ll see if this is enough to at least get them into the Repechaje spots.

Pumas kick off their Clausura 2023 campaign on Sunday at 12 pm CT, when they play hosts to Hernán Cristante’s FC Juárez.