Olympics: Brazilian veteran Alves feels “butterflies” ahead of Germany opener

TOKYO (REUTERS) – Brazil’s Olympic men’s soccer team captain Dani Alves performed on the game’s biggest stages but says he still feels like ‘butterflies’ ahead of the opener Thursday (July 22) against Germany.

The 38-year-old has made 118 appearances for the entire Brazilian national team, having appeared in two World Cups and at club level, he has won three Champions League titles with Barcelona, ​​but he is expected to do so. his Games debut as a player too old for the defender. gold medals.

The full-back showed he was ready to take the opportunity by going to the intercom during the team’s flight to Japan to read safety instructions while wearing a flight attendant scarf .

“Those who know me know that I have a young spirit and since this is my first time, I will have the same kind of experience as the young people. Even though I have had some great moments in my career, given it’s my first time at the Olympics, I can feel butterflies in my stomach, “he said at a press conference.

“To be here is really a special feeling. I am grateful for the opportunity. I hope I can live up to the expectations of the competition and also of our national team.”

Brazil won the home tournament in 2016 beating Germany in the final and the pair were drawn in Group D with Cote d’Ivoire and Saudi Arabia.

Germany’s Olympic warm-up game against Honduras on Saturday was cut short by five minutes after defender Jordan Torunarigha was reportedly racially abused, but coach Stefan Kuntz said there would be no action or protest before the match against Brazil.

“No, we decided yesterday as a team that as far as we’re concerned this case is closed and Jordan said he accepts it as well, so we are going to close this deal there,” he said. -he declares.

The German team went to the Athletes’ Village on Tuesday where they were able to meet other competitors from the country.

“It was really great to feel part of the whole German squad, something special to see where the 10,000 athletes will be and to feel all that Olympic feeling and spirit, something I had never experienced before. “said Kuntz.