Dani Alves has returned to Barcelona at the age of 38. The right-back is Xavi’s first signing as a free agent and has returned after the 2015-16 season. He had his first training session on 15th November, and the presentation took place on the 17th. These are the highlights of the whole event.
Dani Alves cannot officially play until January, which in this case is a good thing. He can work with the players off the pitch, and alongside Xavi as well. He spoke to Barca TV, expressing his excitement, gratitude, and promised that the good times will be back.
DANI ALVES’ INTERVIEW :
‘I’m happy to return, I’m excited, but it’s much more than this. I know the pressure, and now we need to work. I want to win.’
What changed between 2008 and now?
‘I think I know I come back evolved. When I came the first time I was a kid, and now I’m a kid of 38. I’ve travelled the globe to come back here, I have improved. There’s no other place like Barca.’
How does it feel back at the Camp Nou?
‘The people need to know that the club is very special, marvellous, and it’s time to come together and be great again. Fans are a great part of the success. Time to connect with good energies. We will build this together, fans love the titles, we have to come together again. They know the power, they’re aware of that. During these difficult times, we need to work together. When we’re winning, it’s easy. When we’re not winning, we need to see whether everyone is together or not. ‘
Are you still excited about your career?
‘I have lived a great time, I know the challenges. People are expecting the worst, the outside people. Look at Barca, they got a 38 years old player. My strengths come out when people doubt me. I talk on the field. It’s funny, but I promised that when I come back, I will play for this club.’
The moment you signed for Barça, how was it?
‘The people in charge knew I wanted to come back, even if it was for very less money. I was talking with the president, we have a special relationship. He gave me the opportunity to live the best years of my life. He was doubting whether I’ll be of help. Laporta told me Xavi is going to be the coach, and then I decided that it was my time to come back. I knew my chances would increase when I knew Xavi is the coach. ‘
‘I said give me a chance, I was in Portugal and he called me. He called me and told me that you can help us. I told them you can count on my help. I know that Barca are going through difficulties, I will play for free, it doesn’t matter. ‘
On his jersey number
‘It doesn’t matter what the jersey number is, it’s important what’s inside. You have to be optimistic about life. I asked if I was allowed to wear number 8. Stoichkov and Andres Iniesta are good friends of mine, I told them that when I come back to Barca, to wear their number is very special for me. ‘
How do feel about Xavi coming back as the coach of Barca
‘I have a funny story to tell. 4-5 years earlier I told him to train Barcelona, he told me that I would like to one day, I’m not prepared yet. ‘
Message to the dressing room
‘People need to appreciate players who wear this shirt. I want to share with you, I said to the players. I told the players that there’s no place like this club in this world. Appreciate where you are, you’ll regret it when you leave. I regretted my decision to leave. ‘
About When He Left
‘I’m going to stay here, but I will decide when I leave, that’s what I said. But I always thought that I would come back one day. I didn’t like the way things were at that point. I’ve tried to come back after a year, but it didn’t happen. I was not in their plans. I went somewhere else then. I’ve said goodbye to the people a year before leaving Barça, and now I’m back. ‘
Which Dani Alves Are We Going To See
‘Lots of things have changed, but some haven’t. They will see what they saw earlier, the spirit will be the same. More mature and intelligent way of things. This version they will like more as I’m more mature. I work very hard, I do a lot more of what I like. I’m older and I do special things now, when they will see me play, they’ll know what I mean. ‘
Will This Be Your Last Shirt
‘Possibly, I came here to say goodbye to everything. I want to play the 2022 World Cup, it will depend on my time here at Barca. Time flies very fast. I understand the privilege to be here, it’s harder to come back. My promises have been fulfilled, I’ve won the battle and the war as well. ‘
Then, he went on to sign the contract on the pitch, and said a few words.
‘You guys remembered the last time I grabbed the microphone, I didn’t know whether the dream to return will come true. I’m here again. I said at the time, that all of you together with this club have made me feel very special. I’m one of yours. Long life Barca, long live Catalonia. ‘
How do you feel signing the contract
‘Many things can and have changed in life. I’m a little more handsome now than the first time around. Stepping on to this pitch is very special. I’m hoping to make the club very special again, it’s all of us. We need to put Barca at the top. ‘
How is it training with Xavi
‘There are a lot of young players in the dressing room. We will achieve great things together. If we unite, and are positive, and if we truly believe, with hard work and positivity we can achieve a lot. We are all Barca, and Barca is all of us. ‘
‘Juan Laporta and Dani Alves then signed a contract for the remainder of the season. He can’t start to play until January, but will continue to train with the team. ‘
JUAN LAPORTA’S WORDS
‘Today is a great day, Dani is an extraordinary person, a talented player, dedicated to our staff and coach. We’re very happy to have him, welcome home Dani. ‘
Then Dani Alves got changed into the Barca kit to showcase the fans.
‘Fans love Dani Alves, he has given us a lot. He’s a player with the most titles in his career. He told me that he wanted to come back and help this team that we’re creating. He’s got very good physical fitness. Congratulations to him and everyone else. He has an excellent personality and character, a person who’s very competitive. Xavi told me that Dani is one of the people whom I need.’
‘Good day to everyone. For me it’s a great honor and pleasure to be wearing the Barca shirt again. ‘
About his first day training
‘Very special to wear the Barca shirt again, to walk in the locker room and meet all my teammates. It gives me a lot of satisfaction and reminded me of the greatest moments I lived here. We all need to be positive, and focus on solutions. This is the moment to unite’
What Can You Bring To This Team
‘A lot of things in life can make you different, and we need to reinvent ourselves. We need to have the will and the fighting spirit. I know the history Barca has, I accept the challenge. I know how everything works here, and this whole circle of energy to change things around. The fans need to be realistic’.
How Your Return Was Handled
‘I kept insisting to the president that I wanted to come back. It was a pleasure for me the help in these difficult times. Xavi called and said that he counted on me, and the rest was easy. Money is not the most important thing, It was a moment for me now to come back and help the club at this time. Everything else was secondary. I’m here to rebuild the Barca so that we can enjoy it again’.
How Do See Being In The Starting 11 For Barca
‘I always thought of myself as first. I’m here to compete, to fight for my position and play. I have a great relationship with the coach and the president. I will achieve everything I have in my mind. ‘
Do You Think Messi Regrets Leaving Now That You’re Back
‘Haha, what can I say. I have a great relationship with him. I wish him nothing but the best. I’ve been lucky to come back, this is the best place to be. There’s no other place like Barca.’
To Juan Laporta : Do you think the name of Messi will be chanted again
‘I hope so. I don’t rule anything out, I can’t predict the future. We’ll always have the greatest players who’ve been here in our minds. We have to respect them’.
Dani Alves about the fans
‘I will not fail the fans, I come here to represent them, they made me feel one of them and that’s why I’m here. I want to show my appreciation to the fans who were here today’.
To Yuste : How is the salary cap of Barca, and will you be able to make any January transfers
‘We’re looking at very different situations, it’s not a possibility to sign anyone in January’
Dani Alves on his role in the team
‘I spoke to Xavi, I come here as a wing-back. But one shouldn’t limit oneself. Xavi will decide where I will play, I’m training to play a wing-back. I will fight for my place, and do justice to the shirt’.
What advice will you give to Sergino Dest
‘I’m very special, there’s no one like me haha. Many players have come to this club but just being good isn’t enough. Many times players do not fit for whatever reasons, you have to understand the club, the style of play. We’re here to help the team, and I will try to help him, he’s a great player. We’ll help him adapt to the team and the style of play’.
Dani Alves on the team’s competitiveness
‘We have great talent, and we have to do things as a team. The sacrifice the players have for each other, we have our own rules. Xavi and his staff will implement the Barca style of play, and the players need to adapt quickly. Things can be done better, and I’m sure that we’ll see this club that is enjoyed’.
Would you like to play against Real Madrid
‘Yes’. ‘That’s the most incredible game for a Barca player’.
Can you extend your contract
‘I’m not worried about that. If I can help Barca win, I’m sure I’ll extend my stay. If I do things badly, I’ll fail this class. I need to fight to extend my contract’.
Who do you see as an exciting player in the team
‘Dembele is a great player, and you need to understand that you’re playing for Barca. I will remind him that he’s great and can do wonderful things for this club’.
To Laporta : How do you manage players who are willing to cut their salaries and play for less while others don’t
‘Some conditions are open while some are limited. We’re doing a lot of things, we’re negotiating, and making cut backs. The salary cap is what it is. You can’t impose things, we’re trying to get normality, and trying to get a greater income. People take brave decisions, like Dani. We’re excited about the talents. We’re working to announce other renewals as well’
Expectations on the pitch
‘I do not want to miss a pass. It’s very important. Life is crazy, who would’ve thought that a teammate of mine will be my coach. It’s good to be surrounded by great people’.
What character does the team need to have
‘The things you learn, you pass on to the next generation. We need to help each other, my teammate’s problem is my problem, his joy is my joy’.
This was the end of the press conference and the presentation.