It is said that you don’t realize how much you’ll miss something till it is gone. I miss Dani Alves play for Barcelona. Barcelona’s no 6 moved to Juventus this season on a free transfer.
Coming from a long line of attacking Brazilian full backs on the benchmarks set by Cafu, Alves made the right back position his own at during his glorious eight-year spell at Barcelona where he won 23 trophies which included 3 Champions league and 6 La-liga medals. Combined with his Pace, Superb technique, Stamina and Positioning, his tenacity to win back the ball and play from the back made him one of the best wing backs in the world and a benchmark for aspiring wing backs. Outspoken, Eccentric, highly underrated and undoubtedly one of the best right backs the world has ever seen.
Brought in for a massive €30 million in 2008. Dani Alves was part of Barcelona’s greatest ever side Coached by the prodigious Pep Guardiola.
On his unveiling Guardiola Said – “His signing is very good news for the club, Along with Messi, if they work together, we will have the best right flank in the world.”
Guardiola’s prophetic words were proved to be correct over the next eight years. Alves and Barcelona won everything they could during his eight-year spell at Barcelona and was an undoubted starter when fit.
This is what Lionel Messi had to say about Dani Alves – “Alves is the best full-back in the world, It’s very difficult to find a player like him today.”
Not bad for someone who was considered a weak link in the Barcelona system.
His replacements at Barcelona seem to get the job done but they’re not as good as an ageing Dani Alves. Sergi Roberto’s long term position is in the midfield while Aliex Vidal has failed to convince. One look at his highlights reel and you will realise how important he was marauding down the right flank and keeping opposing wing back runs in check, which in turn helped Barcelona as when they attacked the field was stretched due to the wing backs and when they defended, the opposition wing backs were not free to roam on the sides and spread the filed, this helped Barcelona get more possession in the center of the pitch where they had the best people in the business. Look at Barcelona’s road to the Champions league final against PSG, Manchester City and Bayern Munich(Semis) and how he schooled Bernat (also provided the pass for Messi to break the deadlock after dispossessing Bernat) on how to play as a wing back, how he kept Ronaldo in check during Classicos, His vision and inch perfect pass from the deep for the Suarez Goal and more importantly he was the x-factor in many of the decisive games. Creating something out of nothing with this step overs, nutmegs and other typically brazilian tricks. You’d be hard pressed to find an answer why Barcelona let him go for free. Specially when they do not have a good replacement yet.
Off the pitch he is outspoken and doesn’t mince words while hitting out at critics, racists and media. He even joked about having won more trophies than the great Pele. Cheerful in the dressing room and always up for a dance like all Brasilians, always enjoying and playing the beautiful game the way it was meant to be played.
Makes me sad when I see that he left without a proper farewell which he deserved as a legend at FC Barcelona. The closest analogy I can draw is with Virender Sehwag pushed out of the Indian Cricket team without a proper farewell. He too like Dani Alves was a genius and underrated of course. Watch this heartfelt message for his fans.
Enjoy this highlight reel from his time at Barcelona. If you’re like me who likes to watch footie videos, pro tip – Download these Videos from youtube, you never know when they will be taken off due to copyright infringements 🙂