Brazil’s Dani Alves will miss the World Cup, the country’s football federation confirmed on Friday, after the first-choice right-back suffered a knee injury while playing for Paris Saint-Germain this week.
The Brazil international sustained the injury on Tuesday in the 80th minute of PSG’s win over third-tier club Les Herbiers in the Coupe de France final. Initial tests revealed that a rest period of at least three weeks was needed before the need for surgery could be assessed, causing immediate fears that Alves would miss the FIFA showpiece in Russia this summer.
Brazilian football’s governing body confirmed those apprehensions and national team doctor Rodrigo Lasmar later indicated the recovery period for Alves would be “around six months.”
“The patient underwent a detailed examination and confirmed the initial diagnosis of an anterior cruciate ligament injury, which required surgical treatment,” Brazil’s statement read.
“Exhausted all the alternatives of recovery within the term, the call-up of Daniel Alves was found impossible for the period of preparation, friendlies and, consequently, for the World Cup.
“The technical team of the Brazilian national team feels for the event and wishes Daniel Alves a prompt recovery so that his technique, commitment and leadership are back at the service of the national team as soon as possible.”
PSG issued a statement of their own, adding that the club and Brazil medical staff have agreed surgery is the best option for Alves.
“As a result of the damage done to Dani Alves’ right knee during the Coupe de France final, the latest tests have confirmed the initial diagnosis,” PSG said. “However, the rest period required is incompatible with the constraints of optimal preparation for the coming World Cup.
“Under these conditions, the player, PSG’s medical staff and Brazil’s medical staff have decided that surgery is the best option. Dani Alves will be operated on when the condition of his knee permits.”
Brazil coach Tite is set to name his World Cup squad on Monday and now must decide on Alves’ replacement, with PSG teammate Marquinhos, Corinthians’ Fagner and Manchester City’s Danilo in contention, while Monaco’s Fabinho and Bayern Munich’s Rafinha are considered long shots.
Brazil, aiming for a record-extending sixth World Cup triumph, begin their campaign against Switzerland on June 17 before facing Costa Rica and Serbia in their remaining group-stage matches.
Alves has made 107 appearances for the Selecao since making his debut in 2006 and was the most veteran member of Tite’s regular call-ups.
He was a FIFA World Youth Champion with Brazil in 2003. He has won the Copa America and has twice won the Confederations Cup.
He also played in the World Cup in 2014, when hosts Brazil infamously lost 7-1 in the semifinals to Germany.
ESPN FC PSG correspondent Jonathan Johnson contributed to this report.
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