“Barcelona” once again left her legend. And in addition, the most titled football player in the world. Dani Alves has signed a one-year contract with Mexican club Pumas.
Little loss? Yes, Alves is already 39 years old, but he is still the captain of Brazil, one of the favorites for the 2022 World Cup. And the head coach of Seleçao Tite wants Dani to continue his career and go to the World Cup in Qatar. And not only as a valuable player, but also as the main figure (of course, after Tite himself) in the team’s dressing room – the one who has influence on Neymar. Managing a capricious star is no less important for a coach than managing a team’s game during a match.
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In November last year, Alves returned to Barcelona at the initiative of Xavi. Obviously, the head coach of the Blaugrana also needed such a leader in the locker room. At least in that difficult period when Xavi led the Catalans. The Brazilian agreed to the minimum salary that is allowed to be paid to a player in the top division of the Spanish championship – € 155,000 per year. It seems that for the sake of the opportunity to once again enter the field in the form of Barça, Dani himself would have paid extra to the club until the end of his career.
Alves brought some benefit. Played 15 matches, scored one goal and made three assists. I especially remember his February performance in the game with Atlético: the defender scored 1+1 and was sent off in the middle of the second half. The Brazilian broke the club record by becoming the oldest player to play for Barça in the Spanish championship. Of course, the “Blaugrana” had no authors of goals of this age before. As part of the Catalan team, Dani spent his 1000th career match.
However, Barca did not renew the contract with Alves. The Brazilian hoped to stay for another season and, according to rumors, was ready to include an option in the contract according to which the club would have the right to terminate the agreement in six months, that is, after the 2022 World Cup. But the leadership of the Blaugrana is targeting another right-back leader – Cesar Azpilicueta.
In a comment by Alves published by The Guardian, there is still a slight hurt:
“I don’t leave the team sad. He left happy because he returned to Barcelona. I dreamed for five years, wanting to live this moment. The only thing I didn’t like was the way my exit was designed. Made it very clear since I arrived that I’m not a 20 year old anymore and I want things to be done straight forward with no hiding. The club has sinned to the contrary in recent years. Barcelona don’t care about the people who are part of its history. As a Barcelona fan, I would like the club to do things differently. Not talking about myself because my situation was a different scenario. I am infinitely grateful to Xavi and the President for bringing me back.
I found a club full of young players with incredible ideas on the pitch. But Barcelona needs to improve their off-field performance. The thinking is completely opposite to what we built a few years ago. Everything that happens on the field is a reflection of what is happening outside.”
Photo: Brandon Thorne/Getty Images
The media reported that Alves could stay in the Example. They wrote about options with Valladolid and Mallorca. Tite set a condition for his captain: in order to go to the 2022 World Cup, he must find a club for himself. In the end, Dani considered the Mexican one to be the best of the proposals received. Pumas from Mexico City are the seven-time champion of the country, but recently they have been in the middle of the league. Of the well-known players, in addition to Alves, this team has ex-Benfica winger Eduardo Salvio.
Alves has so many trophies that you can lose count. Someone thinks that 46 pieces, someone suggests taking into account only 42. Without victories in the Nordest Cup and the Bahian State Championship in 2001, without the gold of the World Championship with the Brazilian youth team and the French Super Cup in 2018, when the Brazilian did not hit to the application. One way or another, while Dani remains the first in the world in terms of the number of awards. That’s just his old friend Lionel Messi is already very close to 40 trophies. Alves is ready to give up the throne to Messi: he says that if someone has to surpass him, then let it be the one who is really better.
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Maybe Dani and Leo will meet again in the 2022 World Cup final. It would be a fabulous denouement of the story.