The international break is usually a good time to get to hear and read interviews with players on some pretty eclectic topics. With the footballers joining up with their national teams, usually transfer rumours abound, but there are some interesting things that get brought up.
Juventus wing back Dani Alves is away with Brazil for the break and they dismantled Leo Messi’s Argentina 3-0 on Thursday. Should he play again on Tuesday against Peru, it will mark his hundredth appeareance for the Seleção, a feat only four other players have achieved (Cafu (142), Roberto Carlos (125), Lucio (105) and Taffarel (101)).
“It gives me great joy, satisfaction to reach this landmark. At times I don’t know how many good things I’ve lived through and am living through with the national team.
“Since I was 15 years old, when I left my parents, I knew that I would not come back as anything less than a professional, someone who always tries to do his best at every moment, even though at times his best isn’t enough. I’m privileged to be here, because many players have the talent to be in the national team and I’m a chosen one.
“As a person I’m like Picasso. Who is able to decipher me, likes me. Who can’t, doesn’t.”
On what his experience has been playing in the Serie A with the Bianconeri -
“Playing in Italy does improve you, as it forces you to read the game better and increase your understanding of the sport. I have absorbed a great deal.”
Brazil are five for five since Tite took over in July and now sit atop the CONMEBOL World Cup qualifying group, seven points ahead of fifth-placed Chile.
“The greatness of Tite has turned all of this around. He doesn’t worry much about those who are playing, but about those who aren’t playing. This way you maintain a high level of productivity. A team is made up of a large squad.
“Tite’s not just a great coach, but also a great manager. He’s not satisfied with what we’ve achieved so far, because our qualification isn’t yet assured. He will take us down the right path, and this reassures us.
“Tite’s a lot like Guardiola, because Guardiola is also a great manager. They have good results on the pitch because they are great managers. There are things really similar between them. They will improve you and they are people I always want beside me.”
Alves wore the number four jersey in honour of the late Carlos Alberto for the qualifier against bitter rivals Argentina, having based his game on Alberto’s swashbuckling style.