Brazil right back Alves out of World Cup after knee injury
SAO PAULO (AP) — Brazil right back Dani Alves will miss the World Cup, leaving the five-time champions without one of their main leaders.
Alves injured his right knee on Tuesday in the French Cup final win with Paris Saint-Germain. PSG said his anterior cruciate ligament detached. The Brazilian Football Confederation said in a statement on Friday he needs surgery.
The 35-year-old Alves was examined by Dr. Rodrigo Lasmar, who said he will be sidelined for about six months.
"It is impossible to call Dani Alves for the period of preparation, friendlies and, consequently, the World Cup," the CBF said.
Lasmar said in Paris the date of the operation will be decided by PSG and Alves, who played for Brazil in the last two World Cups and has 107 appearances for the team since his 2006 debut.
"He was upset when he heard (about missing the World Cup), but he immediately turned the page and started thinking of his recovery," Lasmar said.
CBF coordinator Edu Gaspar said Alves was teary-eyed, but sent a positive message to his teammates.
"We will not miss only Dani as a player. We lost a leader, a champion," Gaspar said. "But he told us to take some positive energy, he doesn't want people to be upset for him."
Gaspar also said Brazil coach Tite has enough information to pick an adequate substitute at right back.
Tite has previously played Manchester City's Danilo, Corinthians' Fagner, and Bayern Munich's Rafinha.
Fagner has been recovering since April 29 from a thigh injury, and will be examined by Lasmar this weekend.
Danilo and Rafinha have had few chances under Tite, who counted on Alves as a leader.
Former Brazil player Junior believed Danilo was the most likely replacement.
"He is the one playing at the highest level at the moment, but he still needs to adapt to the team," said Junior, a pundit at TV Globo.
PSG coach Unai Emery said Alves' competitive spirit will help him recover faster from his knee injury.
Brazil will announce its squad on Monday in Rio de Janeiro.
Brazil's first game in Russia will be on June 17 against Switzerland.