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“Cuca” the Pedophile Coach

Athletico Paranaense announce Alexi Stival ” Cuca” as their new coach–only problem is that he is a convicted rapist.

March 4 marked a disgusting day for Brazilian soccer as Athletico Paranaense announced the signing of Cuca as their new head coach. The reason Cuca having a job is a shame for the whole country is because Cuca is a convicted pedophile.

Cuca, whose real name is Alexi Stival, is a notorious figure within Brazil, having had both an extremely successful career as a player and as a coach. As a player, Alexi played for many big teams such as Santa Cruz, Gremio, and Palmeiras.

It was during his time at Gremio that he committed his greatest sin. During a club excursion in Switzerland, Cuca and three fellow teammates raped a 13-year-old girl.

Cuca
Show do Esporte, CC BY 3.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

As a result of the horrendous act, Alexi was sentenced to 15 months in prison. Cuca, however, never served his sentence since he was able to get back to Brazil, a country that doesn’t extradite its own citizens.

With no real punishment, Cuca went on to live his life and deny any participation in the raping of the minor. However, it has been proven that Alexi’s semen was found within the girl’s body, proving that he did take part in the abuse.

It must be noted the case has recently been nullified, not because of Cuca’s innocence being proven, but because he never showed up to Switzerland.

As time went on, people slowly began to forget about what happened in Switzerland, and Cuca would go on to be able to finish his career as a player without too much disturbance.

After retiring as a player, Alexi remained a prominent name in the Brazilian soccer scene by becoming a coach. As a coach, Cuca had a remarkable career, attaining success at a level much greater than he did as a player.

Cuca’s greatest achievement is by far winning the Copa Libertadores with Galo in 2013. The 2013 Libertadores title was Galo’s first and only time attaining eternal glory and a landmark moment for both club and coach.

Beyond his monumental 2013 win, Cuca also won the Brazilian league twice, once with Palmeiras and another with Galo; he also won the Brazilian Cup once with Galo.

As time went on and Cuca became more successful, the world consequently became less tolerant of disgusting people and Cuca’s hourglass began to run dry.

One notable thing Alexi began to do as he became more famous was every time he would win significant titles, he would leave the club, usually saying it was for family reasons. It really seemed like Cuca knew that if he got too big, his past would eventually catch up to him, and one day it did.

Cuca’s well-deserved downfall came after he decided to become the coach for Corinthians.

Corinthians is Brazil’s team of the people, with a huge fan base of supporters and a very clear liberal ideology; the team is no place for someone with a past like Alexi’s.

As soon as Cuca was announced on April 20, 2023, the fans quickly did their research about their new boss. After uncovering about Switzerland, chaos broke out.

Due to the widespread fan outrage over the rape conviction, Cuca lasted only two games in charge before leaving the Sao Paulo-based club.

After the unearthing of what happened in Switzerland, it was hard to imagine Cuca would ever land a high-profile job again, and he didn’t for a long time.

Cuca on the sideline while coaching Palmeiras
Douglas Teixeira from Santos, Brasil, CC BY 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

All this changed March 4 when the convicted rapist was announced as the new head coach for the first-division side Athletico Paranaense. The team from Curitiba announced the coach through an official Twitter publication on March 4 at 6:45 AM. The new manager for the “Furacão” comes in as a replacement for Juan Carlos Osório, who was fired just a day before Cuca’s announcement.

Although the team’s fan base isn’t nearly as large as that of Corinthians, many fans are showing their outrage at the new hire. Many took to social media to protest against the signing, and the club’s recent posts have been filled with hate comments targeted at Cuca.

The situation is so serious that even many fans of other teams have publicly come out against Cuca being the coach for the Furacão. Although most fans do agree that it is disgusting for someone convicted of rape to have a high-profile position, many have taken his side and defended him, saying that because the case is null, he shouldn’t get hate.

Many Cuca defenders compared the situation with Brazil’s current President Lula, who was convicted of corruption after a witch-hunt investigation which was later nullified by a judge. While both situations do have the nullifying of a sentence in common, the main difference is one served part of his sentence and then was freed, while the other fled the country and had his sentence nullified because he never showed up.

athletico paranaense’s logo Cat Simulator 2015 4ª, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

Regardless of what one’s thoughts on Brazil’s political situation are, what Cuca did goes beyond politics, and it’s saddening to see people defend him as a way to make a political attack on someone else.

Beyond just a convicted rapist obtaining a high-profile job in Brazil, Cuca’s appointment as head coach of Athletico Paranaense marks a significant regression in Brazil’s progress towards a more equitable and just society.

With International Women’s Day approaching on March 8, the nation watches closely to see if Athletico will make any statements in support of women and affirm their belief in women’s rights and dignity.

Cuca’s presence in such a prominent role not only undermines the fight for equality but also signals a disheartening tolerance for men in power who do horrific things.

In a time when society pledges its commitment to equality and the protection of all its members, allowing a person with such a reprehensible past to be in a position of influence is a betrayal of this very principle.

In today’s era—an era where we say that we value equality, where we claim to hold women’s welfare in the same regard as men’s—the decision to employ someone like Alexi Stival in a significant position is not only unacceptable but also deeply troubling.

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Nathan Azevedo Espindula
Nathan Azevedo Espindula, Editor and Chief
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