The flight was from Belgrade (Serbia), where the Brazilian Olympic men’s soccer team made a concentration, to Tokyo, a required stop to play the Olympic Games. Then, Dani Alves (Bahia, Brazil, 38 years old) took a handkerchief from the hostesses and threw it around his neck, he also dragged the paper with the instructions and sat in the chair next to the intercom. “To leave the plane in an emergency …”, he began to recite while the attacker Matheus Cunha acted as a flight attendant with the recognized gestures in the middle of the corridor. The laughter was unstoppable and Alves, leader of the U23 team – together with goalkeeper Santos and center-back Diego Carlos, covered the places of the allowed majors – showed his pride, happy with the result. It’s the fun part of the right back. The other is competitive. That is why he was on the plane, because he is the player with the most titles in history (42) and he still has a few Games in the list of honors. Against Germany (4-2 win), with Richarlison unleashed and despite the team falling asleep in the closing stages, it started in the best of ways.
A few months ago, still a starter in São Paulo, Alves presented his candidacy to accompany the national team to Tokyo. “I had never competed in a Games, so it was the perfect marriage. He is a leader, a winner, has a lot of charisma and is respected by everyone. For something he has that history full of titles, “acknowledged the coach, André Jardine, who only has three years older than the lane. Alves replied: “Being here is a special feeling. I tried twice, couldn’t, and the third time I succeeded. And as much as you have experienced great things, it is the first time and you feel butterflies in your stomach. I am like Benjamin Button, getting younger and younger. I appreciate the confidence and I hope to be at the level of the national team ”.
Motivation is not lacking. You just had to see him before the duel against Germany, while the notes of the Brazilian anthem sounded, hand to chest, eyes closed and passionately singing each word, also wearing the bracelet and the sharp gaze that always represented him. Something of which there were no doubts when the ball started to roll, still capital for the start from behind, with legs to go up and put centers, sniper of long free kicks. Although the glory went to Richarlison (Everton forward), who before the end of the first act had already made a triplet. Promoting news for a team that was crowned for the first time in the tournament last edition, then a team led by Neymar. And that wants to repeat Alves, the footballer with the most trophies in history (six more than Iniesta, Messi and Maxwell), because between Sevilla, Barça, Juventus, PSG and the last Paulista title with São Paulo, in addition to Brazil, he with 10 leagues, seven Cups, seven Super Cups, one League Cup, three Champions Cups, two UEFA Cups, two America Cups, four European Super Cups, two Confederations Cups, three Club World Cups and one U-20 World Cup. “I want to reach 50 titles,” confessed the side not so long ago for UEFA.
It was always like this. That is why, two years ago after winning the Copa América, he posted on social networks: “I’m looking for a job, where do I put my resume? Someone let me know around here if you read this. ” São Paulo signed him and got in tune, already with 100 games with the senior team, the fifth to do so after Cafu (142), Roberto Carlos (125), Lucio (105) and Taffarel (101). Now he does it with the U23 and, for the moment, Brazil has overtaken Germany. To close the league, already very expensive, they have the Ivory Coast on July 25 and Saudi Arabia on July 28. It is the title they lack. But also a World Cup. “I hope to be in Qatar 2022,” he warned a few months ago. Word, as Jardine saw, is not lacking.
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