Brazil star rules out returning for 2026 World Cup

Henry Burt
One of Brazil's most famous names has called it quits
One of Brazil's most famous names has called it quits / GIUSEPPE CACACE/GettyImages

Brazil right-back Dani Alves has confirmed he will not extend his international career to the next World Cup after the country's surprise elimination from this winter's tournament.

Brazil were widely tipped as favourites to go all the way in Qatar following their thumping 4-1 win over South Korea, but were pushed all the way to penalties by the 2018 finalists and ultimately lost following some shootout heroics from goalkeeper Dominik Livakovic.

With Alves less than six months from turning 40, the legendary former Barcelona full-back has admitted that his World Cup journey has come to a close, having made 126 appearances for the Selecao since his debut in 2006.

"This World Cup was my last one, for me it's time to say that," Alves told reporters after the game.

Alves did, however, stress that he does not believe Neymar will follow suit, after his former club teammate failed to offer any guarantees over his international future.

"But I don't think it will be the same for Neymar; he's great, Brazilian football needs him to keep going," Alves said.

Alves, who plays his club football in Mexico with Pumas, has won the Copa America and Confederations Cup twice during his international career but never managed to get his hands on the World Cup trophy.

He was part of the squad in both 2010 and 2014 but missed the 2018 tournament through injury, and many felt Alves would not get another shot at glory. He returned to the team but soon found himself watching from the outside, embarking on a two-year absence from the Selecao before he was restored in 2021.