Having used TOTY Alves for over 500 games last FIFA, this was a must get player for my squad especially because I changed my defense to IF Sandro, Thiago Silva, UCLLive Kimpembe, UCL Buffon, and SIF Lala last weekend. This card feels exactly like his TOTY card last year, but he defends better with the proper instructions and the right formation tactics. I like fullbacks that are great defenders and I don't want them leaving my half of the field, and with his High/Low workrates you would think I'm crazy for spending about 220K on an untradable SBC player that doesn't match my style, but that's where your wrong. Maldini once said "If I have to make a tackle then I have already made a mistake." Hence, the key to this Alves card is his Pace, Interceptions, and Aggression. To get the most out of this Alves card, you must manually control him and anticipate the opponent's passes and play movement in order to win the ball back because he won't muscle off the strongest forwards if the forward has the ball already and you will be forced to make a questionable tackle. However he will win every footrace with a speedy winger especially if they are running shoulder to shoulder, as Alves will keep up with them for pace and shrug them off with aggression, worst case he causes a light foul that stops the play. Since he has a high attack work rate,if you give him the instruction, Stay Back While Attacking, the farthest up the field he will go is the opponent's end of the second-third of the field, unless you signal him for an overlap. With his low defense workrate, the same instruction will keep him always hovering around the top of your third while the opponent has the ball, and he will be hesitant to stop a counter-attack unless you control him like I suggested. If he normally sits to high up the field for you, then decrease your defense depth in the defense section of your custom tactics. In addition, his short height and low defense workrates will keep you prone to conceding back-post headers to wingers like Sane, the best way to fix that is to adjust the width of your defense in custom tactics and make the defense narrow Alves will already be at the back post to stop a near post header and allow your goalkeeper to be positioned toward the backhalf of the goal. For Alves defending a player about to cross the ball, make your player instructions Aggressive interceptions, so Alves will be tight to the crosser to block a cross, win the ball back, or cause a slight foul to allow for a free-kick so all your players are in the box this time to defend for a cross on the free-kick. Lastly, if you want a comparison to SIF Lala or similar players like IF Cancelo or Flashback Juanfran, those are completely different defenders that are suitable for people who only like to control their defenders on the attack rather than defend by manually intercepting. So if you are like me and make at most two tackles per game across all players in the back four, then Alves is for you, especially if you have midfielders with High/High workrates that can cover for Alves when necessary, but if you aren't much of a player that can manually defend then stick to the aforementioned right-backs. If you have partially completed or had completed the Prime Zanetti SBC, I stopped using TOTY Alves last year to use Prime Zanetti, and you will run into a similar defensive issues when it comes to conceding goals from crosses, but Zanetti is easier to use defensively despite less pace. So just use Zanetti, but if you don't have Zanetti and have a squad that can fit Alves, choose Alves, he's a lot cheaper and can score goals if you want him to.
- Pace- don't waste a chem style on his pace, 88 acceleration and 91 sprint speed is enough, he catches every winger he is in front of.
- Aggression- knocks players like Sane off the ball no problem or at least stops a breakaway by forcing a minor foul.
- Crossing- if you use a three forward formation, trigger Alves for an overlap with the right winger or a center mid, play him the ball get to the final third and cross, it will find one your players' head 95% of the time.
- Interceptions- regardless if you followed my instructions above, he will steal the ball from any pass anywhere on the field he maybe, he plays a lot like a Kante that can shoot if you use him at CDM or CM.
- Balance- high balance means he won't get shoved off the ball easily especially during shoulder-to-shoulder situations, exactly like Aguero.
- Dribbling- he can control any pass from your goalkeeper or centerbacks and even pull off Messi-like dribbling tricks on the Attack with his 4star skills and great agility.
- Stamina- if you treat him a box-to-box defender 84 stamina obviously isn't enough especially if you use the Constant Pressure defense instruction, stick to pressure on the heavy touch to reserve stamina while defending.
- Low Defensive Workrate- as I mentioned, he is really a hands-on player that won't defend if you don't force him to.