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Tite sends a 'big hug' to injured Dani Alves

Bengaluru, May 15: Brazilian right-back Dani Alves has not made it into the 2018 FIFA World Cup squad due to the knee ligament injury, and national team head coach Tite sends him a big hug.

During last week’s Coupe de France final, the Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) defender suffered an injury on his anterior cruciate ligament. Though initially, the PSG right-back was believed to be fit before the beginning of the World Cup, the national team doctors confirmed later that he will require a surgery.

Dani Alves, who had featured in two previous FIFA World Cups (2010 and 2014) for his nation, was the front-runner to take up the captaincy of Brazil national football team for the upcoming World Cup that will be held in Russia from June 14. But his injury has forced him to miss his third consecutive World Cup appearances.

While announcing the final 23-member Brazil squad for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, Tite felt emotional for the senior Brazilian footballer.

According to FourFourTwo, Tite said, "I trust Dani Alves and would like to take this moment to send him a big hug from the bottom of my heart. The first phone call I had, he told me how it felt good to have a good environment to work at. He didn't speak about himself.

"He's a guy with an enormous heart and such bravery. In human terms, my choices were interfered by things like this but I could assess technical, tactical, physical and emotional details when I thought of my list.

"It doesn't help me to cry for players who won't play with us. My job is to prepare the squad."

While Tite mentioned Dani as an incredible leader, he also pointed out that it is an opportunity for the other members to show their potential.

Tite said, "I always say that we have a strong group. When different players were out, the group could perform well and kept strong. Dani is an incredible leader, technically and as a person.

"But this problem with him also gave us the opportunity of preparing Fagner, Danilo and Rafinha. This is an opportunity which came to them. And we'll have the same trust in them as we had in Dani. Of course, we'll miss Dani."

Record five-time World Cup winners Brazil will kick-off their 2018 FIFA World Cup journey on June 17 against Switzerland. Apart from that game, Brazil will take on Costa Rica (on June 22) and Serbia (on June 27) in their other Group E fixtures of this competition.

Brazil squad:

Goalkeepers: Alisson (Roma), Ederson (Manchester City), Cassio (Corinthians).

Defenders: Danilo (Manchester City), Fagner (Corinthians), Marcelo (Real Madrid), Filipe Luis (Atletico Madrid), Thiago Silva (PSG), Marquinhos (PSG), Miranda (Inter Milan), Pedro Geromel (Gremio).

Midfielders: Casemiro (Real Madrid), Fernandinho (Manchester City), Paulinho (Barcelona), Fred (Shakhtar Donetsk), Renato Augusto (Beijing Guoan), Philippe Coutinho (Barcelona), Willian (Chelsea), Douglas Costa (Juventus).

Forward: Neymar (PSG), Taison (Shakhtar Donetsk), Gabriel Jesus (Manchester City), Roberto Firmino (Liverpool).

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Story first published: Tuesday, May 15, 2018, 18:04 [IST]
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