Rio de Janeiro, May 13: Brazil full-back Dani Alves has asked football fans not to pity him after he was ruled out of the World Cup in Russia because of injury.
The 35-year-old collapsed on the pitch after feeling a sharp pain in his right knee while playing for PSG in their 2-0 French Cup final victory over Les Herbiers on Tuesday, reports Xinhua news agency.
On Friday, Brazil’s medical staff said Alves would need surgery, confirming the defender’s worst fears less than a month before football’s flagship tournament begins.
“Maybe my ego is a bit hurt right now, but my soul is at peace because I always tried to do my best,” Alves said in a video posted on social media on Saturday.
According to Brazil team doctor Rodrigo Lasmar, Alves will need at least six months to recover from the operation to repair a detached anterior cruciate ligament.
Despite PSG’s initial claim that Alves might only miss three weeks, the former Sevilla, Barcelona and Juventus star said he immediately knew the injury was more serious.
“When I felt the pain in my knee, my soul went out of my body. I knew from the moment I hit the ground that I was not going to be on the plane to Russia,” he wrote in The Players’ Tribune.
“In the changing room, the PSG doctors told me that we would have to wait until the next day to get the results of some tests, but I knew in my heart that it was over. I only cried one time, when I was by myself. And let me tell you something: I don’t want anybody to cry for me. I don’t want anybody to feel sorry for me. I have lived my dreams.”
Brazil coach Tite is expected to name a provisional World Cup squad on Monday. Alves, who has been capped 107 times for his country, had been considered a certainty for selection.
Brazil’s other right-back options include Bayern Munich’s Rafinha, Manchester City’s Danilo and Corinthians’ Fagner.
The five-time World Cup champions will begin their campaign in Russia against Switzerland on June 17. (IANS)