RIO DE JANEIRO, July 3 — Former Barcelona and Juventus defender Dani Alves has revealed a desire to extend his list of career titles to 50, starting with a gold medal at the Olympic Games in Tokyo.
The Sao Paulo veteran is widely recognized as the most decorated player in history with 43 trophies over a professional career spanning more than two decades.
But one title he has yet to win is an Olympic gold medal, having missed out on a place in the Brazil side that triumphed at the 2016 Games in Rio.
“I’ve always dreamed of participating in the Olympics, so it gave me tremendous joy [to be selected],” the 38-year-old said in an interview published on FIFA’s official website.
“The Olympics are magical – you get emotional thinking about them. I’m a patriot – I can’t explain how much I love wearing the Brazil shirt. To represent my country, my people in a competition as important, as magical as the Olympics, is really, really incredible.”
After a glittering career in Europe – which included spells at Sevilla, Barcelona, Juventus, and Paris Saint-Germain – Alves returned to Brazil in 2019 to play for Sao Paulo, the club he supported as a child.
Last month, the right-back secured his first trophy with the six-time Brazilian Serie A champions when they clinched the Paulistao title – their first silverware since 2012.
“I’m really proud of myself,” Alves said. “I think about how hard I have fought for all of this. I think you have to shoot for the stars. Yes, I think about this milestone. The big 50! I think it would be amazing, historical. I hope I can get the big 50 before I retire and I hope it includes the World Cup.”
Alves is one of three over-age players included in Andre Jardine’s 32-man squad for Tokyo, joining Athletico Paranaense goalkeeper Aderbar Santos and Sevilla defender Diego Carlos.
Brazil has been drawn in the same group as Germany, Cote d’Ivoire, and Saudi Arabia for the Olympic tournament, which will run from July 21 to August 7.
Alves is also looking beyond the Olympics, saying that he wants to be a part of Brazil’s squad at next year’s World Cup in Qatar.
“That, being honest, is my biggest target,” he said. “It was a really nice surprise to get an Olympic call-up, but ever since I left PSG [Paris Saint-Germain] in 2019, I promised myself I would give it absolutely everything to be at the World Cup.
“In life, you have to set yourself big targets and go after them. You may achieve them, you may not, but if I don’t go to the World Cup I can absolutely promise it won’t be for lack of trying. If I don’t deserve it and another player does, I will be Selecao’s biggest supporter. But I think about the World Cup constantly and I’m dedicating myself to realizing this dream. It would be the ultimate.”