Barcelona defender Dani Alves has declared he will not be friends again with his club teammates until after the World Cup.
Speaking ahead of the side’s opening game against Croatia on Thursday, the full-back said: 'I live the whole year with my club teammates but now it’s the moment to focus. They are not my teammates any more, they are my opponents.'
‘Their friendship will only return after the World Cup. For now, each one is defending their colours and their country.’
With 13 players making the trip to Brazil, Barcelona are the third most represented club at the World Cup, with Manchester City and Bayern Munich joint-first with 14 each.
The Spain squad alone houses seven Barca stars, with Gerard Pique, Andres Iniesta, Xavi, Cesc Fabregas, Pedro, Sergio Busquets and Jordi Alba all making Vicente del Bosque’s final 23.
A leading 110 players from English football will be at the tournament, ahead of Italy with 83, Germany with 77, Spain with 65 and France with 45.
With likely one exception to his statement, Alves is joined by Barca teammate and superstar Neymar in the Brazil squad, as the host nation go into the tournament hoping to live up to their tag of favourites.
Playing in his second World Cup, the 31-year-old took over from Maicon as the side’s starting right-back after South Africa 2010 and has shinned in La Liga over for over a decade now between Sevilla and Barca, respectively.
Winning numerous trophies at the Nou Camp since signing in 2008 at a now-bargain-looking price of £23 million, Alves seems set to be forced out of the Spanish club this summer, as new manager Luis Enrique looks to revamp the squad.
Both Premier League clubs Arsenal and Chelsea have been linked with the experienced Brazilian, but it appears as though big-spending Ligue 1 side PSG will pip both of them for his signature should he leave Spain.
While Alves can call the likes of Lionel Messi and Xavi teammates for now, that might not be the case for much longer.