At the age of 38, Brazilian right-back Dani Alves, if he wins Olympic gold with the “samba dancers” team, can add a new title to his record heavy with more than 40 trophies, the most beautiful in the history of world football.
Alves, who does not tire or tire, missed the last edition of the Copa America hosted by his country and lost it in the final against the eternal opponent, Argentina, 0-1, due to a knee injury, but this did not prevent him from being called to compete in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics with the aim of putting his experience at the disposal of young players. , which is a successful option after the previous successful bets.
“Being here gives me a really special feeling,” he said before his first Olympic participation on the sidelines of the Brazil-Germany meeting Thursday in Group D in a replay of the Rio 2016 final, which Brazil won on penalties at the Maracana stadium to win its first Olympic title. “Being here gives me a really special feeling. He succeeded and succeeded in the third,” adding, “Being it the first time for me, I can say that my experience will be similar to those who participate for the first time.”
“No matter how much experience I have in the past, I feel nervous and hope to live up to the aspirations for the tournament and for our national team,” he added.
It’s an anomaly, but his record of endless achievements and titles is missing from his most valuable title: the World Cup. The winner with the Brazil national team in the U-20 World Cup in 2003, he never knew the crown with the senior team in the 2010 and 2014 World Cups, while a knee injury deprived him of a third participation in 2018.
Alves compensated for his failures in the World Cup by winning a second title in the Copa America in 2019 (after 2007) on his country’s stadiums, where he was chosen as the best player in the continental championship.
In addition to his achievements in the yellow jersey, a torrent of successes with the clubs he defended is added: he won the European Champions League 3 times, the Spanish League 6 times and the Local Cup 4 times with Barcelona, and also won the European Cup (currently the Europa League) on two occasions with Seville. He won the French League twice and once, the domestic cup and the League Cup once with Paris Saint-Germain, and the Italian League title with Juventus.
Numbers that make you feel dizzy in front of this player who spent his childhood in a poor family in Juazeiro (Bahia State), where at the age of ten he was forced to get up at five in the morning with his brother to help his father in the fields, before going to school, as he mentioned in a touching story about his childhood It was broadcast in 2017 on the media platform “Players Tribune” (Players Tribune).
One of the best defenders in the world
In 2001, at the age of 18, he participated for the first time with the Esporte Club Bahia team, but was soon spotted by Seville, the Spaniard, to leave Brazil for the old continent in 2002.
His adventure in Spanish stadiums spanned over 14 seasons, including 6 in Andalusia, then 8 in Catalonia after joining Barcelona, a club with which he achieved his most remarkable successes in the green rectangle, establishing himself as one of the best defenders in the world.
In 2016, after 391 matches with the Blaugrana shirt and 23 titles, he left the Catalan club for the Italian city of Turin to join Juventus, but there was only one season left that was enough to win the Scudetto title and the local cup.
In a new country and with a new club, France and Paris Saint-Germain in 2017, he played alongside his former Barcelona teammate and compatriot Neymar, who was recruited by the capital club to help him win the Champions League title.
But Alves’ adventure failed. Between glimpses of brilliance and the curse of injuries, he suffered a lot in his two-year career.
“Paris is a stressful city, and I don’t like it very much,” he later explained to the Brazilian magazine GQ, criticizing “racists” in France.
At the age of 36, he decided to return to his country through the gate of Sao Paulo, to win the Paulista Championship with him in May 2021.
An insatiable rival, Alves brings humor and energy to the locker room.
“Dani is crazy, an imaginary boy, lives his life at 300 kilometers per hour, always with a smile,” says his former colleague and recent European Cup winner with Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini.
As for the person concerned, he says in an interview with Agence France-Presse as he passes by Paris, “You have to put the vanity aside, because if you allow it to show, you stop thinking about being happy. In life, you don’t have to be right, you have to be happy.” And I’m happy”.
Alves has a good sense of humor on social media, but he knows very well how to fight his wars, in his own way, against racism: in 2014, when he was about to take a corner kick at Villarreal, the “submarine” fans threw a banana at him, so he picked it, peeled it and ate a piece them before he resumes playing as if nothing had happened!
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