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Dani Alves, Brazilian Soccer Superstar, on Qatar World Cup Aspirations

Brazilian soccer superstar Dani Alves is the most decorated player in the history of the game with 46 titles, but the big prize, the FIFA Soccer World Cup, has eluded him so far. The upcoming World Cup in Qatar, scheduled for November and December, may be the last opportunity for the 39-year-old player.

Six-part fly-on-the-wall documentary series “Dani Crazy Dream,” currently streaming on FIFA+, follows Barcelona player Alves as he’s in-between clubs, having just come off a tumultuous time at São Paulo FC. The series is produced for FIFA+ by Maracanã Media, a partnership between Alves, entrepreneur and producer Thiago Slovinski (“Nando”), director Ulisses Neto and photographer Sam Robles.

“The idea was to tell the story of the greatest player in probably the final moments of his career,” Neto tells Variety.

Alves adds: “The main goal really of the series is to build a further connection with the fans wherever they are in the world.”

The series follows Alves as he trains in the run-up to the World Cup. Besides the physical training, there are also motivational meetings with players with previous World Cup experience, including former Brazilian captain Cafu, the only player in history to have appeared in three consecutive World Cup finals, winning the coveted trophy in 1994 and 2002.

During the series, Alves visits Cafu at home, which is a shrine to the legendary player’s various trophies, the centerpiece of which is an exact replica of the World Cup. Alves lovingly cradles the replica and it’s clear how much he wants to win it.

“I think different from most of the other players and people who believe that it is bad luck to touch the replica of the trophy. I believe just the opposite. That’s all I want. That’s my aim,” says Alves. “So I have to start a relationship with the trophy. And I need to hang out with it and touch it and caress it because the trophy has to make its way to me. That’s what I want — the trophy in my hands. That’s the ultimate goal.”

Meanwhile, Maracanã Media has similarly worthy goals. The idea is to tell the untold inspirational stories of athletes and musicians.

“We want to be a tool for all these athletes and celebrities and tell the stories that matter, creating meaningful content. That’s what we want to achieve here,” says Slovinski. In the works for next year is a documentary on a major woman player.




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