Sao Paulo: A day after he was ruled out the World Cup with a knee injury, Brazil's Dani Alves sent an inspiring double message to his fans: Don't Cry for Me, and I'll be Back.
Alves, who plays for Paris Saint-Germain, limped off near the end of Tuesday's French Cup Final win over Les Herbiers and doctors said he could be out for as long as six months with an injury to his right anterior cruciate ligament.
But Alves, who has won three Champions Leagues, a Copa America and league titles in Spain, Italy, and France, was not dwelling on his misfortune.
"I don't want anybody to cry for me. I don't want anybody to feel sorry for me. I have lived my dreams," he said.
In an upbeat piece penned for The Players Tribune, the famously irreverent former Barcelona and Juventus right-back said he believes Brazil can win the World Cup for an unprecedented sixth time in Russia.
And the 35-year old warned against anyone ruling him out of the World Cup in Qatar in 2022.
"I don't consider myself a veteran. As you can see, my spirit is about 13 years old. Who knows, maybe when the 2022 World Cup comes around, I will still be competing for a place on the team. My body will be 39, but my spirit will have only turned 17."
Brazil kick off the World Cup on 17 June with a game against Switzerland before facing Costa Rica and Serbia.
National team doctor Rodrigo Lasmar told reporters on Saturday that Neymar should be back in time for the first of Brazil's two warm-up friendlies on 3 June.
The PSG player has been out since February with an injured foot but was back in training this week.
Lasmar said Neymar should be fit to face Croatia in Liverpool on 3 June and Austria in Vienna a week later, according to the Globo Esporte web site.
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Updated Date: May 13, 2018 16:42:11 IST