David Ferreira has never been one afraid to stand out from the crowd, but the Colombian took that to a new level recently.
The man known as “El Torito” usually lets his play on the field do most of the talking, but he recently dyed his hair neon yellow, earning plenty of comments from fans and players.
“There wasn’t really a huge motivation, I just wanted to try it to see how it looked and have a change of image,” Ferreira said through a translator. “It’s been a very successful change and it’s made me more famous these last few days, it’s funny how it turned out.”
Ferreira, who became the 15th player in franchise history to start 100 games last Saturday at Seattle, has been a leader ever since joining FCD in 2009, taking home the 2010 Volkswagen MLS MVP award en route to their first-ever MLS Cup appearance. The Colombian, who turns 34 on Friday, was given the captain’s armband full-time for the 2013 season, an honor which he takes very seriously.
“For me, it means a lot, it shows the coach has a lot of respect for me and I have the skills to lead this team,” said Ferreira. “I try to lead the team in the correct manner and keep the team up whenever were down. Definitely on the field is where I show my most leadership.”
Never the most vocal player, and one who still struggles with his English to an extent, Ferreira certainly is more of a leader by example, having played nearly every minute since returning from a 15-month injury layoff in July 2012. Still the most-fouled player in Major League Soccer, Ferreira has slowed down a bit recently, but remarkably notched 15 assists in his first 32 games back.
“He’s definitely one of the most determined players I’ve seen as far as sometimes when he’s not playing his best, his heart is bigger than his game,” said Hyndman. “Because he keeps going and keeps motivating and many times finds a way to make a difference.”
One player whom Ferreira has had an enormous impact on is 21-year-old winger Fabian Castillo. The bond between Ferreira and Castillo, who was just 18 when he moved halfway across the globe to join FCD, was instant. Castillo, who says he and Ferreira have a “special connection,” interestingly says the lessons learned from the veteran have come mostly off the field.
“There are definitely things I learned from him on the field, but most of the things he’s taught me were off the field,” Castillo said through a translator. “Even though I’m a professional, he showed me you can have a good side, being happy and sharing it with your friends and family. You have to have fun and enjoy life.”
There haven’t been a lot of happy moments recently as Dallas looks to pull themselves out of a nine-game winless streak, but if there’s anyone who has the character to lead FCD out of the slump, it’s their blonde-haired talisman David Ferreira.
“There’s no doubt about it, I definitely think we can turn this around,” said Ferreira. “We have a great and strong team full of talented players. There’s still time, I think we have what it takes. It’s been a rough few matches, but with hard work and dedication we can turn it around and bring positive results.”