He made his debut for the Brazilian national team against Honduras in March 1995, and played three additional games during the run-up to the 1996 Olympic Games. He did not appear in any Olympic matches. He won many titles with Grêmio, most notably the Copa Libertadores in 1995.
Danrlei was injured in a bus accident on 16 January 2009. The bus plunged off a 130-foot ravine while travelling back from a game. Uruguayan footballer Claudio Milar died in the accident.