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Dani Alves: I didn't join Sao Paulo to retire

07 Aug 2019, 22:43 ( 4 Months ago)

DF-Xinhua Report
Brazil's Dani Alves shoots during the international friendly match between Brazil and Qatar ahead of the upcoming Copa America football tournament in Brasilia, Brazil, June 5, 2019. Brazil won 2-0. (Xinhua/Li Ming)

Veteran Brazilian right-back Dani Alves said Tuesday that he did not join Sao Paulo to wind down his career, reiterating a desire to continue playing until the 2022 World Cup.
   
The 36-year-old signed a three-and-a-half-year contract with the team he supported as a child last week, less than two months after parting ways with Paris Saint-Germain.
   
He faced the media for the first time as a Sao Paulo player on Tuesday, having received a hero's welcome upon arriving at Sao Paulo's Congonhas airport on Monday.
   
"My goal is to play at the 2022 World Cup and I need a team that believes in me, in my football," Alves said, who captained Brazil and was named player of the tournament in the team's home Copa America triumph last month.
   
"I've come to Sao Paulo to work hard. I don't want anyone to think that I came to end my career. I have a lot of goals," he added.
   
Sao Paulo are understood to have beaten off interest in Alves from a host of clubs in Europe, including at least one Premier League side.
   
Financial details of the defender's salary were not revealed but Alves joked that it was a "cheap deal" given that he was a free agent. However the former Sevilla, Barcelona, Juventus and PSG player also said he owed Sao Paulo a debt of gratitude.
   
"I want to pay back the faith that Sao Paulo is showing in me in the best possible way: with commitment, with my experience. As a fan I want the best for the club and I will make sure that the board doesn't regret the decision to sign me."
   
Sao Paulo are currently fifth in the 20-team Brazilian top-flight standings, 11 points behind leaders Santos.