Barcelona's Daniel Alves hopes World Cup can unite Brazil as a nation
Brazil's experienced right back Daniel Alves has called on the contry to unite as the World Cup prepares to get underway in two days' time, in the light of renewed public protests across the nation over the past weekend.
The Barcelona man, 31, spoke at a post-training media conference, and said: "I know sometimes that it is difficult to put the situation in our country to one side, but the whole world will be here and everyone deserves to be welcomed in the way that Brazilian people know how."
"For us it gives us great joy to see the supporters starting to get excited about the World Cup and it is going to be a marvellous moment for everyone."
The tournament's opening game takes place this Thursday in Sao Paulo at 2100hrs GMT.