Brazil legend Dani Alves talks up Manchester United forward Antony

Brazil legend Dani Alves has labelled Manchester United forward and his Selecao teammate Antony a ‘phenomenon’.

Manchester United’s number 21 was named in Tite’s 26-man World Cup squad alongside the 39-year-old Alves, as well as Red Devils trio Casemiro, Fred and Alex Telles who is spending the 2022-23 campaign on loan at Alves’ former club Sevilla.

While the tournament in Qatar is all but certain to be Alves’ last chance to win the World Cup, Antony only has 11 caps to his name for the five-time World Cup winners, and will be participating in the biggest sporting tournament for the first time in his career.

Brazil legend Dani Alves talks up Manchester United forward Antony

Photo by Chris Ricco/Getty Images

In an interview with The Guardian, Alves, who has been capped 124 times for Brazil and by his calculation has won a staggering 49 trophies during his wonderful career, was asked whether he believed Antony could be the star to break through at the tournament in the Middle East.

Alves, who was last seen in the middle of the Pumas midfield in Mexico and hasn’t played since September and could only train with Barcelona’s B team in the build-up to the World Cup, was in no doubt that the former Ajax forward could light up the tournament.

But he urged Antony, who missed United’s last five games prior to heading to the World Cup, to remain focused and to not get dwell on things whether he’s in or out of form.

Photo by Pedro Vilela/Getty Images

The three-time Champions League winner said: “Could be. Why not? He’s a phenomenon.

“You have to be careful in football because it’s a huge machine of distraction and you have to find balance, not be carried away when you’re in your best moment or when you’re not in your best moment.”

Brazil kickstart their World Cup campaign against Serbia this evening and while Alves and Antony will be competing with Danilo and Raphinha for game time down the right of Tite’s side, the pair could link up at some stage in the tournament.

Alves and Antony have played 33 times together. They’ve played together at Sau Paulo and were part of the Brazil side that won Olympic Gold last summer.

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Passionate Football fan that completed a NCTJ-accredited Diploma in Multimedia Sports Journalism in 2016.