Each Dec. 28 many religious adherents celebrate the Dia de los Santos Inocentes (Day of the Holy Innocents), a festival used to commemorate and celebrate the innocent children killed by King Harod's decree in the book of Matthew as he futialy tried to keep the baby Jesus from rising to power by killing young boys in the vicinity of Bethlehem.
Despite the solemn and holy origin, the day also is used as the equivalent of April Fools' Day in Mexico and other Spanish-speaking countries, and every year plenty of media outlets take part and lead with stories meant to entertain rather than inform. This year, it was a player who got in on the act who perhaps drew the biggest laughs.
Chivas forward Alan Pulido posted a rueful message saying Thursday would be his last day with the Guadalajara club as he was set for an MLS move.
"My last day of training with Chivas. They just told me I'm going to MLS. All that's left is to thank you for all your support and hope to return soon. God bless, and may the you continue to win triumphs. Truly, thank you for everything. I'll never forget you," the player tweeted with a sad emoji.
Mi último día de entrenamiento con @Chivas me acaban de avisar que voy para la @futbolMLS solamente me queda agradecerles por todo su apoyo y espero en un futuro regresar pronto, que DIOS los bendiga y que sigan cosechando triunfos, de vd gracias por todo nunca los olvidare. — PULIDO #AP9 (@puliidooo) December 28, 2017
Chivas later joined the fun, congratulating Pulido on a move to the Detroit Moles.
"Sporting Club Guadalajara informs that starting in 2018 the Mexican soccer player Alan Pulido will be part of the Detroit Moles, a new Major League Soccer franchise that will begin its participation March 3 against the Houston Dynamo."
There's even a Detroit Moles account welcoming the 26-year-old. Of course, the Moles aren't a real team and the Dynamo are set to host Atlanta United on March 3.
Mexican sports daily Record is often full of jokes on Dia de los Innocentes and this year was no different. The outlet's cover has a story about the controversial chant Mexican supporters have been fined for shouting after opposition goal kicks. Their story says that in Russia at the 2018 World Cup, FIFA will allow fans to shout the name of Russia's president "Ehhh....PUTIN!" instead of the actual word which sounds similar to the president's surname.
#HoySeVale una que otra broma 'Eeeh, ¡Putin¡', aprueba FIFA para el Mundial de Rusia 2018. #HoyentúRÉCORD el ataque de Cruz Azul luce dinamita suficiente #Portada https://t.co/yTPDYvUZoW pic.twitter.com/8WHPFPRABE — DIARIO RÉCORD (@record_mexico) December 28, 2017
The outlet also wrote a story about Tuca Ferretti, the longtime coach of Tigres who has been in Mexico for decades, moving to France to coach Marseille on the advice of Andre-Pierre Gignac. And, as Cruz Azul's search for a new stadium continues, it also wrote a story about La Maquina moving into the Estadio Azteca to share with Club America.
Another daily, Esto, had two jokes for its Mexico City readers, writing that Pumas legend Hugo Sanchez would once again take over as its manager and that both Jonathan and Giovani dos Santos are headed to Club America from the LA Galaxy.
There was an all-too-plausible joke on ESPN Mexico's front page with the outlet cooking up a story that the newly formed players' association is threatening to delay the start of the season because of Chivas' treatment of defender Oswaldo Alanis. Though there have been matchdays delayed in each of the last two tournaments, the Clausura is in no risk.
The jokes didn't just stay in Mexico with Spanish newspapers also getting involved. Mundo Deportivo wrote that Cristiano Ronaldo will give back his Ballon d'Or after the Clasico loss left him feeling like he didn't deserve it, while Eibar announced its third winter signing is a good friend of Dani Garcia's - his dog.
OFICIAL | Manolito 3° fichaje de invierno del Eibar.
El perro de nuestro capitán @danigarcia16 firma hasta 2020 #Manolito2020 #WelcomeManolito pic.twitter.com/w225Nhy5Tk — SD Eibar (@SDEibar) December 28, 2017
Maybe we're being cynical, though. Perhaps Manolito will end up being the signing of the winter. That's if he can stop New York City FC forward David Villa. For their "inocentada", Onda Cero wrote that the former Barcelona and Atletico Madrid man is set to head on loan to, of all clubs, Real Madrid!