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Brazil coach Tite sends ‘big hug’ to injured Dani Alves

Dani Alves Dani Alves playing for Brazil (source: Getty Images)

Brazil coach Tite has sent a “big hug” to injured full-back Dani Alves but is keen to move on from the loss of the defender from his World Cup squad.

Paris Saint-Germain right-back Alves was expected to start for Brazil in Russia but suffered a cruciate ligament injury in the Coupe de France victory over Les Herbiers.

Alves had been suggested as a possible captain for Brazil at the World Cup. However, while Tite sympathises with the 35-year-old’s plight, the coach says being without the veteran will not affect his job.

“I trust Dani Alves and would like to take this moment to send him a big hug from the bottom of my heart,” Tite told reporters as he announced his squad.

“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.”

Fagner, Danilo and Rafinha are among the alternatives to Alves included in Brazil’s squad as Tite’s men prepare for their World Cup opener against Switzerland on June 17.

“I always say that we have a strong group,” Tite added. “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.”

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