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What a cool Dani Alves! At 36, plays under the striker and leaves training last.

In the summer of 2019, Dani Alves ended a contract with PSG. As a free agent, he won the America’s Cup and became the best player in the tournament. Alves was in demand and received offers from the Champions League.

But he was not seduced by large clubs. Dani Alves has already won everything: he is the most titled footballer in history – 42 trophies.

At 39 years old wants to play at the World Cup
In the summer, he was looking for a club that would provide him with playing practice for the next three years. And Dani Alves went home. São Paulo issued him a contract until December 2022. Just under the world championship.

Yes, Alves at the age of 39 is going to Qatar. To close the personal gestalt: the World Cup is the most coveted but unconquered trophy of Dani Alves. “I have a dream to play at the 2022 World Cup, and I need a team with which I can achieve this. I did not move to end my career. I have many goals. ”

But before Qatar, there are three more seasons in Brazil. So far, Alves has played half the season in São Paulo. And again he surprised everyone.

Got a number from Kaka and became an attacking midfielder
At São Paulo, Alves received the 10th number, which he personally handed to Kaka at the presentation (which brought together 40 thousand fans). Well, it seems nothing surprising – he just loves to get new numbers: during his career he had 12 of them. Only in PSG for two seasons did he play under four different ones.
It turned out that Alves chose the tenth for a reason. In the first match, he entered the position under the striker. Alves gave most of the passes to someone else’s box. And scored the only goal.
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Surprisingly: Dani Alves played the entire career on the right in defense. Sometimes he went right in the midfield. At Tuchel, in PSG he sometimes played in the center of the field – with age, the intellect began to outweigh the physical data. But until 36 he never went out under the striker

Alves – this is the collective. He is now the main man in São Paulo
In Brazil, Dani Alves is adored and admired by every action. In Europe – they wonder: how does a player who has played on the right in defense all his life, at 36 become an attacking midfielder? And how does he even feel there?

Fernando Diniz, the head coach of São Paulo, has the best and most authoritative answer. Here is his monologue:

“He has a unique collective feeling. Dani gathers a team around him and makes partners better. He is the collective.
This is not a player who goes for a stroke for three or strikes from 40 meters. He is absolutely a team. Playing under the striker, he not only aggravates the game, but also defends a lot. In addition, he is in the very center of team building and from there directs the game.

Dani formulates the game, makes the team play. Dani never asked me to put him in the middle – this is entirely my idea.
He arrives first and leaves the training base last. Dani takes care of the body: eats right, sleeps and all that. And he always says that this is the main aspect of his success. He is not pure talent, he is labor.

And he helps not only in the field, but also in leadership. And coaching staff, and partners outside the field. Dani is a guy completely devoted to São Paulo. And the one who raises this club to a higher level. ”

***

Alves played for “Sao Paulo” 20 matches, the team finished in sixth place. He scored two goals, gave three goals. In the last eight matches – played with a captain’s armband. And for half a season he played three different roles: the attacking midfielder (10 matches), the right midfielder (6), the right defender (4).

Three more years before the World Cup. Now the form and performances of Dani Alves is one of the main intrigues (for us Europeans) of the Brazilian league.

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