Regarded as one of the best full-backs of his generation, Alves is an offensive right-back or wing-back who is known in particular for his pace, stamina, overlapping attacking runs, and technical skills, which also enable him to play in midfield, or as a winger; he is also gifted with good crossing accuracy and distribution, which allows him to link up with midfielders, and makes him an effective assist provider along the right flank. In addition to his ability to create chances, he is an accurate striker of the ball, and is known for his ability to score goals in particular from outside the area or long-range set-pieces. Despite not being particularly imposing physically, he possesses significant strength and tenacity, which along with his energy, anticipation and work-rate, enable him to intercept passes or chase down and press opponents when not in possession, thus allowing him to aid his team both offensively and defensively. However, despite his skill and offensive ability, he has drawn criticism at times in the media for neglecting the defensive aspect of his game. Alves made his Brazil debut as a substitute in an unofficial friendly match against Kuwaiti club Al-Kuwait Selection on 7 October 2006. Three days later, he earned his first international cap in a friendly against Ecuador. He was included in Brazil’s team for the 2007 Copa América. He appeared in four matches including the final against Argentina, where he gave an assist and scored a goal in a 3–0 victory. Despite being the most expensive right-back in history, he has been unable to hold down a regular starting spot in the national team, with Maicon being the first choice ahead of him. Alves came on as a substitute in the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup semi-final against South Africa and scored the winner, a free-kick and a goal in the 88th minute in a 1–0 win. He was named to Brazil’s squad for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. He scored another long-range free-kick against Iran on 7 October 2010. On 7 May 2014, Alves was named to Brazil’s squad for the 2014 FIFA World Cup. He lost his position as a starter during the competition due to poor performances. After Brazil defeated Colombia 2–1 in the quarter-finals, Alves and teammate David Luiz were applauded for comforting James Rodríguez, an act they were both commended for by both Rodríguez and the media for showing respect. Alves was picked as a starter in both the 2015 and Centenario Copa América tournaments by manager Dunga. He retained his position following the appointment of Tite and helped Brazil secure qualification for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, but was ruled out of the tournament due to a knee injury suffered in the 2018 Coupe de France Final. On 29 September 2011, Alves was appointed as a Special Olympics Ambassador for its Global Football program, charged with promoting respect and inclusion in football for people with intellectual disabilities, particularly in the run up to the 2014 World Cup. Along with his ex-teammate turned rapper, José Manuel Pinto, Alves released a song called Suave on YouTube on June 15, 2018.