Dani Alves

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This Alves stunner wasn’t enough for PSG to seal Ligue 1 (video)

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Paris Saint-Germain again failed to clinch the French league title after losing 3-2 at Nantes on Wednesday.

PSG could have sealed it this past Sunday and the weekend before that but picked up only one point from those two matches. The defending champion leads second-place Lille by 17 points with six games left and can celebrate at the fourth attempt by beating Monaco at home on Sunday, or if Lille fails to win at Toulouse earlier in the day.

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It looked like the celebrations were on at Nantes when the veteran fullback Dani Alves put PSG ahead with a superb dipping shot from outside the penalty area. But the defense crumbled again, letting in an equalizer within four minutes, another goal just before halftime and a third shortly after the break to make it 10 goals conceded in three games.

PSG needed only a draw on Sunday to to seal the eighth league title in its history, but lost 5-1 at Lille – the biggest defeat since Qatari investors QSI took charge in 2011. Before that, PSG needed a home win against Strasbourg but drew 2-2.

PSG let in two goals against Lille from set pieces and did so again this time.

Center half Diego Carlos equalized when he headed in a corner from the left.

Then, one minute before halftime, right back Thilo Kehrer was easily knocked off the ball by Kalifa Coulibaly, and unmarked striker Majeed Waris finished at the back post. A corner from the left in the 52nd led to Carlos turning the ball in from close range, even with three PSG players around him.

Nantes, which moved up to 14th place, missed further chances before PSG substitute Metehan Guclu pulled a goal back in the 90th.

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Tuchel “more optimistic” about Neymar, Mbappe fitness for Liverpool

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Neymar and Kylian Mbappe will return to Paris Saint-Germain training on Monday ahead of a crucial UEFA Champions League meeting with Liverpool at the Parc des Princes on Wednesday.

[ RECAP: Watford 0-3 Liverpool ]

Both players were injured on international duty and missed PSG’s 1-0 win over Toulouse in Ligue 1. Dani Alves returned to the lineup in the win.

“I am more optimistic than yesterday about Ney and Kylian,” said PSG manager Thomas Tuchel. “They will be able to train on Monday.”

Liverpool’s season is back on its upward trend following decisive wins at Watford and Fulham, but the Reds split their UCL series with Red Star Belgrade to put their knockout round status in question.

The Reds are level with Napoli on six points atop the group, a point better than PSG and two ahead of Red Star.

Napoli hosts Red Star on Wednesday. Group play concludes Dec. 11 with Napoli at Liverpool and Red Star home to PSG.

Could Dani Alves finish career in Premier League?

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Dani Alves, who has played in La Liga, Serie A and now Ligue 1, could finish his career in the Premier League.

That’s according to the Paris Saint-Germain right back, who said in an interview he would like to retire in England. The 35-year-old holds the most trophies of any active player, 38, including league titles in Spain, Italy and France, the UEFA Champions League and a Copa America with Brazil.

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“The idea that I might finish my career without going to the Premier League, it is not possible,” Alves told the Telegraph. “For sure, this is the most amazing football in the world. First, because of the respect for the players from the fans, and then because of the passion on the pitch. If I can play, that would be perfect, but I will make it there one way or the other.”

Of course, the first place most people would presume Alves would land in England is Manchester City, where he’d reunite with former manager Pep Guardiola. But Guardiola has slowly been pushing out some of his older players and with the exception of Vincent Kompany and Fernandinho, it’s a fairly young squad. So it’s unclear whether Guardiola would be prepared to bring Alves in at 36 or older next summer.

In addition, Alves may struggle in the Premier League. Unless he plays on a team like Man City, that will hold 70 percent possession each game, he may be forced to actually defend, a skill he’s not the best at compared to his incredible attacking ability. He’s a right back in name only, starting from deep and providing overlapping runs and terrific crosses into forwards.

But if he gets to play higher up the field, perhaps as a right attacking midfielder, even at his age, he could be an exciting addition for just about any team looking to spice up their attack. It’s just a matter of whether a team will take a chance on him, overlooking the age factor.

Dani Alves at peace with injury that put him out of World Cup

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SAO PAULO (AP) Brazil right back Dani Alves said he’s at peace despite the knee injury that forced him out of the World Cup in Russia. The 35-year-old also revealed Saturday he knew he was going to miss the tournament as soon as he felt the first pains on Tuesday.

Alves, who is one of the main leaders of Brazil’s team, said in a video that he wants fans and teammates to take nothing but good energies from him.

“Maybe my ego is a bit hurt right now, but my soul is at peace because I always tried to do my best,” Alves said in his social media channels.

In a text published by The Players’ Tribune, the Brazilian said he felt he was out of the World Cup as soon as he injured his right knee Tuesday in the French Cup final win with Paris Saint-Germain. PSG said his anterior cruciate ligament detached. The Brazilian Football Confederation said in a statement on Friday he needs surgery.

“When I felt the pain in my knee, my soul went out of my body. I knew from the moment I hit the ground that I was not going to be on the plane to Russia for the World Cup,” Alves wrote.

“In the changing room, the PSG doctors told me that we would have to wait until the next day to get the results of some tests, but I knew in my heart that it was over,” he continued. “I only cried one time, when I was by myself. And let me tell you something: I don’t want anybody to cry for me. I don’t want anybody to feel sorry for me. I have lived my dreams.”

Brazilian football confederation doctor Rodrigo Lasmar said Alves will be sidelined for about six months after his surgery.

Lasmar said the date of the operation will be decided by PSG and Alves, who played for Brazil in the last two World Cups and has 107 appearances for the team since his 2006 debut.

Brazil coach Tite will announce his squad Monday in Rio de Janeiro. Previously he played Manchester City’s Danilo, Corinthians’ Fagner, and Bayern Munich’s Rafinha in Alves’ position.

On Sunday, Lasmar is expected to examine Fagner, who has been recovering since April 29 from a thigh injury.

Danilo and Rafinha have had few chances under Tite, who counted on Alves as a leader.

Brazil’s Dani Alves will miss the World Cup after knee injury

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The Brazilian federation has confirmed that right-back Dani Alves will miss the World Cup after suffering a serious knee injury playing for Paris Saint-Germain in the Coupe de France final against third-tier club Les Herbiers on Tuesday.

While initial tests confirmed at least an three-week absence necessary, team doctors were unable to immediately diagnose the full extent of the injury, meaning Brazil fans were left waiting to learn his fate. On Friday, the Brazilian federation confirmed that Alves suffered an ACL tear which would require surgery.

The 35-year-old was withdrawn late in the match, replaced in the 86th minute by Thomas Meunier. PSG eventually won the match 2-0.

“The technical team of the Brazilian national team feels for the event and wishes Daniel Alves a prompt recovery so that his technique, commitment and leadership are back at the service of the national team as soon as possible,” said the Brazilian federation in a statement released on Friday.

Alves has 106 caps in his national team career after his debut in 2006, scoring seven times for Brazil. He has appeared in the last two World Cup squads for the Selecao, but found himself benched for the latter stages of the 2014 World Cup after playing every minute of the team’s first four matches.

Replacements for Alves in the squad could be his PSG teammate Marquinhos or Manchester City’s Danilo, while Corinthians’ Fagner is also considered to be in contention. Monaco’s Fabinho and Bayern Munchen’s Rafinha also both have slight national team experience.