DAni Alves has many different moments. As he prepares to play in the third World Cup, the goalkeeper is disappointed by world events and social problems. The optimism for a better society against Covid-19 has become frustrating, with an increase in attitudes that he deems unacceptable.
“People are also afraid of death and respect,” he says. “Unfortunately nothing has changed … I wish a lot of things have changed, but it hasn’t. We are coming out of the pandemic and everyone thought things were going to change, but what happened was war.
“People have not changed, they continue to fight for power and the lack of respect has increased. Whoever commits prostitution in the world and on the internet, does even more because he gives to the audience. ”
Alves also noted an increase in racist crimes. Throughout his career, he has been a victim. The most famous case occurred in 2014, when he was in Barcelona. In a game against Villarreal, a banana was thrown on the field. Wrongly, Alves picked up the fruit and ate it.
Racism has never been a taboo subject for him. In fact, it was the 39-year-old who introduced him in this interview. He did so in response to Nelson Piquet’s racist descent from Lewis Hamilton. “It bothered me,” he says, “but not just because of the story itself. I will not explore this too deeply because of pressure [a] drunk downhill easy. It’s just because [Piquet’s] statement. It’s for everything that’s happening. What happened is very big. If the biggest winner of Formula One is attacked, despised, excluded, imagine who is down in society?
“I pray and ask forgiveness for these people. They are a concern to me because they are always forbidden to be human, to have opportunities. There is no opportunity for everyone. ”
Alves backed Hamilton after speaking out against Piquet. “It was a message for him to pursue his goal, which is great,” says Alves. “He is a man who can change lives and he must continue to fight. We have a mission and no one will shake us. ”
Returning to the field, Alves finds himself a free agent after a short spell, a second time in Barcelona. It was a happy time if eventually frustrated and Alves is eager to find a new club so that he is ready and able to become a member of his country in Qatar.
“I did not leave sad,” says Alves about his six months at Camp Nou, which followed a turbulent spell at São Paulo. “I was glad to return to Barcelona. I dreamed for five years trying to survive the second moment. The only thing I did not like was the way my event was handled.
“Since I came, I made it very clear that he was no longer a 20-year-old man and that I wanted things to be done straight, not to hide things. But this club has sinned in recent years. Barcelona doesn’t care about the people who made history for the club. Mar culê [Barcelona supporter], I want Barcelona to do things differently. I’m not talking about myself because I had another case. I am very grateful to Xavi and the president for bringing me back.
“I found a club full of young people who had incredible ideas on the pitch,” says Alves, who played 17 times for Barcelona in his second spell after playing 247 hours in the first eight years. once he had a trophy laden. “It simply came to our notice then. The whole attitude is contrary to what we took a few years ago. Everything that happens on the pitch is a reflection of what happens outside.
“I support Barcelona coming back to the top, but it’s very complicated. Football is fairer, it’s a collective game. And that has been left out by the club. ”
Since Alves left Barcelona last month, he has been linked with a number of clubs, including Real Valladolid, which is largely owned by fellow Brazilian legend Ronaldo. No deadline has been set for finding a new club, but the criteria are clear. “I like challenges and I adapt to any situation,” says Alves. “I am unemployed today, but interesting things have happened. I am studying places to go that have a good level of competitiveness.
“It simply came to our notice then. You have to meet people who want to win the same goal, who want to compete. I like to win. I want to go somewhere where I can win. “
Another club interested in signing Alves is Athletico Paranaense, coached by Luiz Felipe Scolari, under whom the defender played at the 2014 World Cup. If he decides to go there, he will return to a country where violence against footballers is on the rise. . Since the beginning of the year, players from Bahia, Fortaleza, Grêmio and Paraná have been hit by fans. During a game in January, a man with a knife entered the field to threaten someone in an under – 20 game.
“We need to improve Brazilian football, we must fight the violence in stadiums. What happened in the games is a disgrace, ”says Alves. “People have children, they want to see something that can be amazing. If not, it becomes frustration, trauma.
“It simply came to our notice then. That’s what I tried to do, but I was tortured [in São Paulo]. I do not rule out any case, but if I go back to Brazil, it will be to Athletico Paranaense. ”
After reaching the age of 39 in May it may be inevitable to mention the age of Alves when discussing the chances of extending his career. He admits that it is a problem but believes that he is still able to function at the highest level. “I know that everyone is talking about my age, that I am old, that everyone wanted me 20 years ago and that they do not exist today. But I totally disagree because I have experience today that I did not have 20 years ago. When there’s a big game, 20 – year – olds get nervous and anxious, but I do not.
“There are pros and cons to age. There are many things you do when you are 20, but you do not do it when you are older. Maturity comes from just living. I also have experience of wearing almost everything in sport ”.
Alves is one of the leaders in the Brazilian squad and has been present throughout their World Cup cycle. However, he knows he needs to perform at a high level to get a call from Tite for the World Cup squad. Their long-standing trusting relationship is no guarantee.
“No one plays because he is a friend of the coach. In the end, his job is at stake, ”says Alves. “It simply came to our notice then. It’s not stupid. He wants players who will match what he needs. Tite and I have many years of work together. It is a relationship that one trusts and demands high performance from the other. It’s very picky.
“How does one leave the farm to become the biggest winner in football history? It is work. I do not have the natural gift [Lionel] Messi, Neymar, Ronaldinho, Ronaldo, Romario. I know I have to do a lot of work to get what I want. I have my talents, but I also work hard and I have control. ”
After appearing for Brazil 125 times including at the 2010 and 2014 World Cups, Alves have a great game to judge their prospects in Qatar. They certainly have a strong chance of winning the World Cup for the first time in 20 years and it goes so far as to say Seileção is “undoubtedly a favorite. But a favorite of opponents because we live many different moments in the competitions
“We have already done a lot of testing. We had a great learning experience. Now is the time to achieve good results. We are on the right track and we must declare our right to be our favorite. ”
If Alves is to join the World Cup, is that when he chooses to retire? “The last dance is when you retire, but I think I will continue to dance. Dance is always welcome, regardless of where and what dance. I do not think so. And the last dance is already done. It’s best to create a new chapter, a new series. It’s another chapter of my life. ”