Dani Alves will play no part in World Cup Russia after sustaining a knee injury which will keep him sidelined for four to six months. It's a sad moment for Brazil, and for the player who, at 35 will probably have missed the chance to star at his final World Cup although he feels confident that he will still be in contention for a place in the side if Brazil make the 2022 finals.
Alves knew straight away his World Cup was over
It's been a difficult few days for Alves, but he says he is keeping his spirits up and expressed himself in an open letter written for The Players' Tribune. “When I felt the pain in my knee, my soul went out of my body. I knew from the moment that I hit the ground that I was not going to be on the plane to Russia for the World Cup.
"In the changing room, the PSG doctors told me that we would have to wait until the next day to get the results of some tests, but I knew in my heart that it was over. Everyone came in celebrating with the Coupe de France trophy, and I never want to show any negative emotion around my team mates — if you know Dani Alves then you know I’m always one happy motherfucker — so I was smiling and trying to have fun. But everybody could see in my eyes that something was wrong”.
Following the action on TV back home in Brazil
Alves went on to add that injury will not spoil his enjoyment of the finals, and says he will be cheering Braziljust as he always has since he was a boy. “I will be watching Brazil the same way I used to watch when I was a little kid on the farm. Only my TV is gonna be a hell of a lot bigger this time! I remember during the ’94 World Cup, our house was the center of the world. The whole country shut down for a month, and nobody in our town had anywhere to go to watch the matches, so everybody came to our house”. And he is confident that he will still be in contention for the right-back place in four years' time. “I don’t consider myself a veteran. As you can see, my spirit is about 13 years old. Who knows, maybe when the 2022 World Cup comes around, I will still be competing for a place on the team. My body will be 39, but my spirit will have only turned 17”.
Dani Alves ended his letter on an emotional note, with a promise. “If we win the World Cup, I won’t be screaming. For once, I promise you, I will shut my mouth. There will be no words coming from Dani Alves. I won’t be saying anything. I will only be crying”.