Rio de Janeiro: The record-setting feats of Spanish football club Valencia’s goalkeeper Diego Alves are not going unnoticed in Brazil, according to the national team’s goalkeeping coach Claudio Taffarel.
Alves set the all-time record in La Liga for penalty saves last month and stopped another two on Sunday when he denied Atletico Madrid’s Antoine Griezmann and Gabi from scoring from the spot to take his tally to 19, reports Xinhua.
Alves has now saved 19 penalties in Spain’s top division, two more than FC Barcelona great Andoni Zubizarreta.
Despite his form, the 31-year-old was not named in Brazil’s squad for their World Cup qualifiers against Bolivia on Thursday and Venezuela five days later.
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“Diego Alves has a lot of quality,” said Taffarel on Monday, who won the 1994 World Cup with Brazil.
“He wasn’t playing at the start of the season and there was talk he might leave Valencia for Barcelona. But he ended up staying.”
“He is great at stopping penalties and we are paying attention to him now that he is playing again, just like the other goalkeepers. He is on our list.”
“We have a long list of names and he has always been there. Just because he isn’t on the list today, doesn’t mean that he won’t be there tomorrow. In the future he could be selected again,” he added.
Alves has been capped just eight times for Brazil in his career that has been blighted by injuries.
Italian club AS Roma’s goalkeeper Alisson is expected to start for Brazil against Bolivia on Thursday.
The other goalkeepers in Brazil’s squad are local clubs Flamengo’s Alex Muralha and Atletico Paranaense’s Weverton.