‘If I have to play the tambourine, I’ll be the best’

“It’s something that bothers me, but it doesn’t affect me.” This is how Dani Alves described how he faces the rain of criticism directed at him for being in the Brazilian national team for the 2022 World Cup. the words thrown at him to build a speech in response to what he heard since he was announced by Tite to come to Qatar.

The reference even had a hint of irony, involving a musical instrument played in the concentration of the selection and in the moments when the team goes to the bus.

“My mission is to be at the service of the Brazilian national team. If I have to play the tambourine, I’ll be the best tambourine player”, said Dani Alves.

At the age of 39, he will be the oldest player to wear the shirt of the selection in World Cups, surpassing Thiago Silva, who already reached the mark in Qatar, at the age of 38. Dani was called up for the competition, even without participating in an official game over the past two months.

“Life has taught me that when you put your mind to what you want, when you put in work, dedication, it takes you to unimaginable places. That’s what it took me to, to be here now in this selection. This journey will be unique. Life always rewards those people who love what they do, who really give themselves body and soul to the mission. I’m reaping what I sowed in 16 years”, said the right-back.

Dani Alves during training for the Brazilian national team - Lucas Figueiredo/CBF - Lucas Figueiredo/CBF

Dani Alves during training for the Brazilian national team

Image: Lucas Figueiredo/CBF

Dani was called up by Tite for the World Cup because the coaching staff assessed that the physical performance indices were similar to previous occasions when the player was called up, such as the Tokyo Olympics, in 2021. But Dani Alves was not the immediate replacement of Danilo, when the starting right-back was injured in the first game, against Serbia. The immediate option for the next game, against Switzerland, was to use Eder Militão, a defender of origin, but improvised because he was a lateral in the base.

Dani understands that doubts about him happen. He himself cited the age issue and the fact that he is not playing for a big club in Europe. The player currently belongs to Pumas, from Mexico, but spent the month leading up to the World Cup training at Barcelona B, a way of showing the coaching staff that he can deliver what is needed to compete in the World Cup.

“It’s normal for people to contest for age, for suddenly not being in the best moment. The World Cup is not just being in the best moment in their clubs. It’s being in the best moment in the Brazilian national team. I’ve been doing this since 2003. tried to do and that’s why I think I’m here. Historically, in the Brazilian national team, someone has always had to pay the bill and now it’s up to me because all the players are in the starting lineup in Europe and I’m not. If I were in Barcelona, ​​this debate would hardly be possible would be happening”, admitted Dani Alves, who also addressed critics:

“They made a mistake, because they put the account of those who have the most arguments. It bothers me, but it doesn’t affect me. I’m not a masochist, I don’t want people to be talking bad about me, but it’s easy to do that. Normally I don’t accept it, but I’m not exempt of everything that is happening. I just prefer to go the other way, to give my best to the Brazilian team and the staff”.

Brazil closes its participation in Group G of the World Cup tomorrow (2) against Cameroon, at 4 pm (Brasília time). The team has already qualified for the round of 16 and decides to lead the group.

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