Alves optimistic over Valencia prospects
Valencia goalkeeper Diego Alves has put a positive spin on his side's year, despite the La Liga club ending 2012 in ninth place.
Valencia started 2012 in third position in La Liga, which they held until the end of last season, while also reaching the semi-finals of both the Europa League and Copa del Rey.
While Valencia have reached the last 16 of the Champions League, this La Liga season has been far from successful as Ernesto Valverde's side have claimed just seven victories in 17 games.
Alves is staying positive, but concedes the team needs to improve their results.
"We (Valencia) … finished last season quite well," Alves said.
"We managed to reach the Copa del Rey and the Europa League semi-finals and now need to keep getting good results because there are more expectations.
"We have things to improve, of course, but the team have managed good results.
"In this job you have to keep working hard and every day you need to show you're on top form.
"That's how it works."
Having joined Valencia from Almeria before the 2011/12 season, Alves broke into the starting line-up around the start of 2012, playing 12 league matches.
In the current campaign, the 27-year-old Brazilian has started 15 of 17 league games for Valencia, while he has also become one of the main goalkeepers for his national team, having played in three of Brazil's last four friendlies.
"This year has been fantastic for me," Alves said.
"I fulfilled my dream to play for the Brazilian national team and also managed to that in a home game, in front of our supporters.
"That's priceless and I had always dreamed of it.
"I now want to keep my place in the team."