The Selecao captain is hopeful about winning the Copa America on home soil.

Brazil‘s captain Dani Alves insists that the Selecao are not weakened by the absence of star winger Neymar as they are keen on lifting Copa America in their own backyard. They scored three goals in the tournament opener against Bolivia as they sit atop of the Group A.

A brace from Coutinho and a stunner from Everton Soares sealed the deal for the hosts. Although Neymar was ruled out of the Copa America after suffering an ankle injury in a friendly against Qatar. While Alves praised his PSG team-mate but also insists that Brazil is not weak without him.

“I believe that every time we come to the national team, we wear this shirt, we have to prove it, regardless of whether or not Neymar is there, we have to prove it because we represent a historical team, very respected worldwide,” he told a news conference on Sunday.

“But when you have an extra, like Ney, you become a little stronger. But you do not weaken without it, you only increase your qualities, you increase your power, but you do not diminish without him. Our responsibility remains the same – we represent a history and we have to defend this history with great honour.”

Dani Alves has represented Brazil for 110 times, just behind Cafu (142) and Roberto Carlos (125) who both operated in the full-back role. Talking about his future, Alves said he is eyeing the 2022 World Cup in Qatar and certainly knows that he has to keep performing to make it to Qatar.

“It [2022 World Cup] is a goal I have, but I do not allow myself to look too far forward, because when you look far ahead you forget to look at now,” he said.

“I cannot forget to look at the now because the opportunities I have to be here can not to be distracted with the future and not with the past. What matters is the present.

“I reinvent myself. When you reach a certain age, you begin to raise doubts, a lot of talk about the selection is renewed or the clubs have to renew, have more players, young people, but both in the clubs and in the national team, it values itself by results.”

Brazil will take on Venezuela in Salvador, Dani Alves’ home town, in their second game of the tournament.