Copa America 2019: Dani Alves named Brazil captain ahead of Neymar
What's the story?
27-year-old Brazil talisman Neymar has been stripped of the captaincy of the Brazilian national team, with manager Tite entrusting 36-year-old rightback Dani Alves with the responsibility.
The Seleccao head into the 2019 Copa America as favorites with the additional pressure of playing at home in Brazil.
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Neymar has been plagued by a series of disciplinary incidents off late, which might have prompted Tite to take the captaincy responsibility off his star man. This month, Neymar was banned for three matches after he struck a fan after PSG's defeat at the hands of Rennes in the Coupe de France final. He was also allegedly involved in a dressing room fight with some PSG team-mates.
Under Tite, Brazil has been experimenting a rotating captaincy policy with experienced players like Marcelo, Casemiro, Neymar, Dani Alves and Thiago Silva all having been entrusted the responsibility in friendlies, World Cup qualifiers as well as the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
Neymar was widely expected to be announced as Brazil's captain going into the Copa America, especially since the Seleccao had famously won the 2016 Summer Olympics Football gold medal under the captaincy of their talismanic forward.
The heart of the matter
With 107 caps to his name, Dani Alves is the most experienced member of Tite's 23-member Copa America squad. With PSG captain Thiago Silva likely to miss the group stage matches due to a meniscus injury, Alves seems the logical choice after Neymar to shoulder the responsibility.
Alves will also captain Brazil for their upcoming preparatory friendlies against Qatar and Honduras before the Copa America kicks off on 14th June. He has captained Brazil four times, most recently in a 1-0 win over Germany in March 2018. Tite's might also want to keep the pressure of captaincy off his star player Neymar to keep his focus on winning Seleccao their first Copa America since 2007.
Brazil will face Qatar and Honduras on June 5 and 9th respectively, in preparatory friendlies. For the Copa America 2019, the Selecao are drawn in Group A along with Bolivia, Venezuela and Peru. Their first match is against Bolivia on 14th June, which will also be the first match of the tournament.