Juventus defender Dani Alves has shed light on why he left Barcelona in the summer and it’s fair to say he’s not exactly got the greatest relationship with the Barca top brass.
After signing from Sevilla in 2008, Alves spent eight fruitful years at the Nou Camp and won six La Liga titles, four Copa Del Reys and three Champions League trophies.
He was also prolific from deadball situations – which proved to be a useful weapon for Barca in his spell there. If they were on good terms, Alves may have been the go-to guy for free-kick tutorials with the club’s youngsters and not fellow Brazilian Rivaldo, who recently came to La Masia to show Barca B players how it’s done.
Playing as a rampaging right-back, Alves was an integral part of Barca’s philosophy through the years and it’s fair to say after his departure, the right-back berth has been a real weakness for the Blaugrana this season – with both Aleix Vidal and Sergi Roberto being exposed on a number of occasions.
In 2015. Alves signed a new two-year deal to remain with Barcelona but only last a season – with the Catalans approving his transfer to Juventus and allowing him to leave for free.
The defender, currently recovering from a broken leg he suffered back in November, has opened up on his situation at Barcelona and he doesn’t speak about the club’s directors in a positive light.
As quoted by ABC, he said:
“I like to feel wanted, and if someone doesn’t want me then I’m leaving.
“Leaving Barcelona on a free was a classy punch. During my last three seasons I kept hearing ‘Dani Alves is leaving’, but the directors never said anything.
“They were very false and ungrateful, they didn’t respect me. They only offered me a renewal when they got the FIFA sanctions.
“That’s why I played them at their own game and signed a renewal with a release clause. Those who run Barcelona today have no idea how to treat their players.”
The 33-year old also talked about his ‘feud’ with Real Madrid superstar Cristiano Ronaldo – with the two having a number of altercations when they were opposite each other on the pitch.
Alves, however, played down the tension between the two.
Continuing, he said:
“All my fights with Cristiano were because of the press.
“If people only knew how much I respect Cristiano Ronaldo. I will repeat it to make myself clear: I respect Cristiano Ronaldo.
“Everyone who talks to me about Cristiano tell me that he’s a great pro, but he is different, he was my rival and I had to compete with him.
“When I spoke about him being too selfish, when you win you are going to be the star but when you lose they will go for you, so I said it in a very respectful way.
“And I think the same of [Lionel] Messi or Neymar. But my thoughts were not negative. What happens is that the press portrayed them differently, saying that I had spoken ill of him.
“And Ronaldo believed it. That’s why he did not greet me at the Ballon d’Or gala in 2015. I do not need to talk about anyone to go out in the newspapers. I have no ego.”
Alves has made a total of 16 appearances for Juventus this season and prior to his unfortunate has helped the Bianconeri continue their dominant run in Serie A – they are currently seven points clear of Roma at the top.