Alves keen to play on until 2022 World Cup

Rio De Janeiro, April 4 (IANS) Former Barcelona defender Dani Alves said he hopes to continue his international career until the 2022 FIFA World Cup, when he will be 39.

Alves has not played for Brazil since October 2019, three months after he captained his country to the Copa America title on home soil, Xinhua news reports.

But the former defender revealed he hasn’t lost his motivation to compete at the highest level and has not given up on a boyhood dream to win football’s most prestigious international trophy.

“Men without dreams are men without life,” Alves, who will turn 38 in May, said in a live broadcast on Instagram.

“As long as I’m alive, I will continue to dream and work hard so that (my dreams) become reality.”

Alves had been capped 118 times for Brazil since his international debut in 2006. He represented the Selecao at the 2010 and 2014 World Cups but missed the 2018 tournament in Russia because of a knee injury.

Alves, who has reinvented himself as a midfielder since joining Sao Paulo from PSG in 2019, is recognised as one of the most decorated professional footballer in history with 43 trophies over a career spanning two decades.

He hailed the impact of former Argentina striker Hernan Crespo, who was appointed Sao Paulo manager in February, replacing Fernando Diniz.

“There aren’t many differences,” said Alves, whose club career has also included spells with Sevilla, Juventus, and Paris Saint-Germain.

“They both put a premium on possession, they both like a lot of intensity and they both need time to build a winning team.”

The next edition of the World Cup will be played in Qatar from November 21 to December 18, 2022.

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