Dani Dorado’s dream: to play in River’s Primera to buy a house for his mother

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With his mother and brother they live in Costa Esperanza, a settlement 40 km west of Buenos Aires, where every time it rains, the house floods and the neighborhood turns into a quagmire. Her idol is ‘Pity’ Martínez.

Daniel Dorado, or simply Dani, is 12 years old. The first thing he does in each awakening is kick the ball. River fan from the cradle, dreams of playing in the First Division of the popular Argentine club and buy a house for his mother.

Like many Latin American children, he dreams of being a professional player because of his passion for soccer and to get out of poverty.

“I always wanted to be a player, since I was little I watched the games with my dad and my brother Marcos (17). I’m happy because they made me a River fan,” he told the agency AFP.

His Paraguayan parents came to Argentina 15 years ago; He was born in Argentina. When I was 4 years and 8 months, his father died and since then his mother, María Báez, has been the sole breadwinner.

Dani, her mother and her brother live in Costa Esperanza, a settlement 40 km west of Buenos Aires, in a basic and precarious house that they built on land they bought 12 years ago. Every time it rains, the house floods and the neighborhood, with almost no public services, turns into a quagmire.

Dani It is not inspired by Lionel Messi or Diego Maradona but by “the Pity”, He says. His idol is the offensive midfielder Gonzalo ‘Pity’ Martínez who plays for Al-Nassr, from Saudi Arabia, and went through River between 2015 and 2019, being a figure of the team of the Red Band that raised the Liberators cup in 2018 by defeating archrival Boca Juniors in the final.

His mother works in a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) that distributes food viands to residents of the neighborhoodor, where the shortages worsened with the Covid-19 pandemic, which in Argentina, in recession since 2018, lit raised the poverty rate to 40.9% in the first semester.

In that house, Dani He does the routines that are indicated by Zoom or by videos, prevented from going to train since the confinement was decreed on March 20 due to the pandemic.

At six years old, Dani began training in a program of the Small Steps Foundation, linked to River Foundation. It was thus that the doors were opened to attend the Angel Labruna football school of the ‘Millonario’ club, where he has a scholarship, and directed by Alejandro Cean.

In normal times, Dani He goes twice a week to train at the club located in the exclusive capital neighborhood of Núñez. Take two buses and a train. Two hours one way and two hours back. Sometimes a ‘discount paid for by the River Foundation shortens travel time.

Their reality is very different from that of the vast majority of the 900 students of the Labruna school, boys of middle and upper middle class who pay the club membership fee, in addition to the tuition and the monthly fee.. The school does not depend, in addition, on the structure of the club’s child-youth soccer, but on the River Physical Department.

“What I like the most is kicking the goal”says Dani, an attacking player, convinced that he will reach the First River. “I want to help my mom and buy her a house”, holds.

He ‘Profe Ariel’ Gómez, her coach at Pequeños Pasos, emphasizes that you must avoid fueling your desire for success.

“Although Dani has conditions, a talent and a sports intelligence that he must exploit, it’s too early to talk about a career. I saw many boys like him, capable, and sometimes things happen and they get frustrated, “he warns.

They say the same at the Labruna School where “those who want to feel the club’s jersey can play” regardless of their skills with the ball, explains coach Federico Rocafull.

According to him, only one out of every 300 or 350 boys will make it to the club’s amateur football, where they are chosen to the 30 best of each age and there, the objective is to prepare to reach the First Division.


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