What position will Dani Alves play for Pumas during the Clausura 2023?
The Brazil international returned to Pumas UNAM training this week and could see minutes in the team’s Liga MX opener this weekend.
Dani Alves made two appearances for Brazil at the 2022 World Cup, but was left on the bench in the quarter-final against Croatia as they lost in a penalty shootout. The last time the 39-year-old saw activity was in Brazil’s 4-1 win over South Korea in the round of 16, when he replaced Éder Militão in the 63rd minute.
Alves back with Pumas UNAM
Following Brazil’s participation at the tournament, Alves took some time off to recover and he finally returned to practice this week ahead of the start of the Clausura 2023. He has not played an official match in over a month, but he is expected to see minutes when Pumas UNAM host Juárez in their opening match at Estadio Olímpico Universitario.
The newly appointed manager of Los Felinos, Rafael Puente Jr., has offered no indication as to whether he will use the experienced player as a right-back or as a defensive midfielder. In the Apertura 2022, former Pumas boss Andrés Lillini used Alves as a holding midfielder, but with Brazil at the World Cup he played at full-back.
Pumas just announced the signing of Jesús Molina from Chivas and he plays as a defensive midfielder. This could mean that Puente Jr. could use Alves as a defender at least in the beginning of the tournament. The last time these two teams met was on matchday 17 of the Apertura 2022, when Juárez won 3-1. Alves didn’t play in the game because he was recovering from an injury suffered at the end of September.