Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Football: I CAN LIGHT THE FIRE; Hotshot Alves Tells of His Boro Ambitions

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Football: I CAN LIGHT THE FIRE; Hotshot Alves Tells of His Boro Ambitions

Article excerpt

Byline: By ERIC PAYLOR

AFONSO Alves believes he can be the catalyst to take Boro back up the table.

The Brazilian is certain he can be a big hit on Teesside once he comes to terms with the different demands of the Premiership.

Alves said: "The game in the Netherlands is slower than in England.

"I think there is also a higher quality of football in the Premier League because all of the teams are strong.

"Any team has the capacity to win against any other.

"But this team has the qualities to climb higher up the league and I can help them to do that.

"I have always scored goals and I am sure I can score goals here.

I cannot wait to be a part of this team."

Alves, who has prominent tattoos on his arms bearing the name of his mother and his child, admits it may take him time to settle in a new country and into a new league, but he is confident once he does, the goals will flow.

Alves scored seven times in a 9-0 Dutch League victory over Heracles Almelo in October and is itching to start hitting the net again.

He said: "The beginning will be difficult for me, but I believe I will score.

That is natural, it will come after a while. I believe I will score here as well.

"It will take some time to adapt to the speed and the football over here, but I will play my game and I will succeed in the end."

Alves found himself in demand as the January transfer window opened as Boro, who had been trailing him since the summer, tried to sign him.

AZ Alkmaar insisted they had a pre-contract agreement with the player and continue to fight their corner, while Boro flew him into Teesside to inspect the club's facilities.

However, Boro moved decisively and the player, who could yet face a claim for compensation from Alkmaar, always preferred Boro and is happy that his future is secure.

He said: "I feel absolutely good.

I am only thinking about my position over here in this league and in this squad.

"Of course, there were several good clubs who wanted to sign me, but I primarily wanted to play in the Premier League.

"I talked to Fabio Rochemback and he told me it was a very good club and a good league, and that's why I decided to come. …

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