Brazil great Pele says he is "so sad" to hear Dani Alves will miss the World Cup finals due to injury.
The Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) confirmed on Friday that the Paris Saint-Germain full-back requires surgery on a cruciate ligament injury sustained in the Coupe de France final.
Alves has therefore been ruled out of contention for the tournament in Russia, at which he had been tipped to be named captain by Brazil coach Tite.
Pele went into the 1958 finals – where he won the first of his three trophies – with injury and was also hurt during the 1966 campaign in England, and he has some sympathy for his compatriot.
"I am so sad to hear this," the 77-year-old tweeted. "Footballers hate missing games but I know first-hand that missing #WorldCup games is the worst feeling."
CBF doctor Rodrigo Lasmar confirmed at a news conference that Alves will likely be out of action for about six months after his operation.
"There is no mathematics. It's around six months," he said.
"Of course, he was very upset. He's a very experienced player, on the eve of the World Cup. He has a balance and strength. He wanted to know what he needed to do to play in the same condition he was before.
"He immediately turned the page to recover as fast as possible. He wants to recover as fast as possible."
I am so sad to hear this. Footballers hate missing games but I know first-hand that missing #WorldCup games is the worst feeling. // Estou muito triste de ouvir isso. Jogadores odeiam perder jogos, mas eu sei, em primeira mão, que perder uma Copa do Mundo é o pior sentimento. https://t.co/WevSbmq44b — Pelé (@Pele) May 11, 2018
The Alves news is a blow to Tite's plans, with the 35-year-old having been confirmed back in February as one of the 15 players certain to make the final squad.
Brazil are relatively short on right-back options, with Manchester City's Danilo and Bayern Munich's Rafinha the most likely to start their World Cup opener against Switzerland on June 17.