"I thank Flamengo. They did everything to make me stay, but they understood me. I'm 35 years old, my career is ending and this is almost certainly going to be my last contract."
"I know that all the athletes and entire athletics community were looking forward to this event but I ask them to keep heart," he noted.
Mikel Arteta has now had time to put his mark on the Arsenal side he inherited from Unai Emery and winning the FA Cup and the Community shield have given the club a positive air, as have the signings of Willian from Chelsea, central defender Gabriel from Lille and the return of Dani Ceballos on loan from Real Madrid.
Elsewhere, Mainz survived a scare against fourth division club Havelse and booked their berth for the next round.
International runners came from Britain, Germany, Argentina, Latvia, Finland, the Netherlands as well as other countries and regions.
The Yorkshire side's return to the top-flight after a 16-year absence got off to the worst start when defender Robin Koch was penalized for a handball and Mohamed Salah slotted home the resulting penalty kick.
Evergrande broke the deadlock in the 40th minute with a moment of magic, as Paulinho dribbled past several defenders at the edge of the box, unleashing a rocket that went beyond an out-stretched Wang.
Even though it is only the first game of the campaign, both teams will be desperate to kick off with three points.
The "Green-Whites" lacked in ideas to overcome Jena's well-positioned defence as only Davie Selke came close after unleashing a dangerous effort from a sharp angle two minutes before the break.
Aris is one of Greece's most successful clubs, having won the fourth most Super League titles after Olympiacos, Panathinaikos and AEK Athens. Enditem
Alves, who has been capped 10 times for Brazil's national team, joined Flamengo in 2017 after ending his six-year spell with Spanish side Valencia. Enditem