Dani Alves aiming to play in 2022 World Cup at 39

Source: Xinhua| 2019-01-07 08:50:11|Editor: Yang Yi
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RIO DE JANEIRO, Jan. 6 (Xinhua) -- Paris Saint-Germain and Brazil right-back Dani Alves has revealed a desire to extend his international career to the 2022 World Cup, which will be played less than six months before his 40th birthday.

Alves missed last year's World Cup in Russia after rupturing the anterior cruciate ligament of his right knee just weeks before the tournament began.

The 35-year-old said his mind and not his body would be his biggest asset should he be a part of Brazil's campaign in Qatar.

"My goal is to fight to be there," Alves said in an interview published by Brazil's Folha de S.Paulo newspaper on Sunday. "I know that there's still a long way to go but in life you have to visualize your goals and prepare yourself to achieve them."

The former Barcelona, Juventus and Sevilla defender added: "I think in today's football intelligence is everything, despite the physicality. There are a lot of people who run a lot and think little. Those who think are able to stand out a little more. I know that when you reach a certain age people think that you have nothing more to offer. But preparation is not only physical. It's also mental."

Alves, who returned to the pitch for Paris Saint-Germain in November, suggested Brazil could have advanced beyond the quarterfinals in Russia - where they fell 2-1 to Belgium - had he been present.

"I wasn't missed as a player, but I think my spirit and soul were missed," he said. "Wherever I play I'm able to create a healthy environment and provide solutions, not problems.

"Without a doubt the icing on the cake would be to win a World Cup with Brazil. The difference between the World Cup and the [UEFA] Champions League is that with a World Cup you make a country happy. In the Champions League it's only a certain sector [of fans].

Alves provided an insight into his close friendship with Brazil and Paris Saint-Germain teammate Neymar, with whom he also played at Barcelona from 2013 to 2017.

According to Alves, Neymar was affected by criticism of his exaggerated reaction to fouls during the 2018 World Cup.

"There's no way that he couldn't have been," Alves said. "He is a human being, not a machine. Neymar is like a son to me... I know what goes through his head. But Neymar is very intelligent. He has something that makes others envious : He is a millionaire, famous and handsome."