Brazil lifted the Copa America on home soil after beating Peru 3-1 in the final. The tournament wasn’t without its controversies as Messi claimed the tournament was set up for Brazil to win after he exited with Argentina in the semi-finals.
It is Brazil’s first major trophy in 12 years, their 9th trophy in history. They have had a drought in recent years by their own very high standards but the party has started again in Brazil, and they do know how to celebrate. But for the man who lifted the trophy it was an extra special moment. It was Dani Alves’ 40th career trophy, making him the most decorated player in football history.
Alves was player of the tournament and at the age of 36 he has shown that he still has the ability to get the job done at the highest level. The only trophy he has not won in his amazing career is the World Cup.
He started his career at a Brazilian club called Bahia in 2001, and after consistently good performances he quickly grabbed the attention of clubs in Europe. Sevilla snapped him up on loan in 2002 and the move was made permanent after impressing at the 2003 FIFA youth championship.
He won five trophies at Sevilla, including two UEFA Cups before Barcelona paid £30m for his services in 2008. At that time he became the third most expensive Barcelona player and one of the most expensive defenders in history. And it was at Barca when the trophy cabinet really started to grow, with the club entering one of their most successful periods.
Alves won 23 trophies with Barcelona over the course of just seven seasons, and he was one of the key players throughout that spell. His hoard included six La Liga titles, four Copa del Rey and three Champions League trophies. in 2015 the Champions League win over Juventus made Barcelona the first team to win the treble for a second time, and Dani Alves was involved in both.
He continued his winning ways at both Juve and PSG, and finally with Brazil to take his total tally up to 40 trophies. To put his achievements in perspective, Ryan Giggs won 35 trophies during his long career with Manchester United under Sir Alex Ferguson.
Dani Alves is now a free agent after his contract with PSG ended in the summer. As person and as a player Dani Alves is lively. Whether you see him in the first minute or the last minute of the game, like in the final against Peru, you will still see him pressing people down.
Some people would think it’s the last minute and you don’t put as much pressure on the defenders because they will put the ball in the box. But no, Dani presses you until the very last minute.
He has that switch that he can turn on and off, where he is fun and has laughs in the tunnel, but when the referee blows to start he is ready for the game.
Players like him I admire as a pro, not only because of his great career but because of his attitude. When I wished him good luck before the final he text back so relaxed knowing that at age 36 and with 39 trophies at the time, he had only one objective: to lift the 40th as Brazilian captain and to celebrate with his family. #mmlove