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19.01.2009 13:58

Alves: “We can’t ease up”

Vanessa Forns

In spite of the praise being heaped on Barça, Alves says that the players know they cannot afford to ease up now. “Lots of things can still happen, there’s a lot of work to do and I prefer to assess things at the end of the season,” he argued.

Humble, hard-working and also ambitious. That was the impression Dani Alves gave at a press conference held after training at Barça’s Ciudad Deportiva Joan Gamper complex this Monday morning. He admits that the squad are going through a good time at the moment but stressed the “humility” of a team that “isn’t worried about praise” and knows it “can’t ease up because lots of things can still happen”.

Evaluation at the end

In Dani Alves’s view, being able to “go on as we’ve been doing so far”, remembering that the next match is always the most important one and remaining humble as “the other teams are playing as well” are three basic factors if the team wants to win things. “Both as individuals and as a group we’ll assess how things have gone at the end of the season and not now,” he said.

Battling to the end

19-01-09_WEB_EQUIPO_07.jpgOn the same lines, Dani Alves said that all the first team squad would fight hard to make sure that Barça is in the finals and remains in the hunt for the title of the competitions the team is playing in. “Winning one title is tough, but we’ll keep on battling right up until the end,” he added.

Derby will be different

The most important match at the moment is this Wednesday’s quarter final clash with Espanyol in the King’s Cup. “It’ll be a tough game,” said the full-back. “A derby is always a different match and we’ll have to be at the top of our game as they won’t be giving anything away.”

In reference to the incidents at the last encounter between the two teams, Alves expressed his hope that people would go along to the ground just to enjoy the game and support their side. “There are limits in football,” he commented.

Praise for team-mates

The Brazilian says that he feels “privileged” to be able to play with the team-mates he has. “You always want to improve, and having team-mates like these around you makes it a whole lot easier,” he said. “I’m very happy here. Playing with these people I watched and admired is great.”

Thanks to the coach

19-01-09_WEB_ALVES_01.jpgDani Alves also said he was grateful to Josep Guardiola for believing in him. “Guardiola works and studies a lot,” he pointed out. “He was already a coach when he was a player, and how the team plays is no surprise. He knows what he wants and team is on the same page. He’s had faith in me, and I believe if you work hard you can do anything, and I’m a very hard worker.”

Coaching staff

Dani Alves didn’t wish to comment on the performance of referee Pérez Burrull in this Sunday’s Real Madrid-Osasuna game, but he did have some words for Barça’s coaching staff: “When you make sure you’re 100% and you have the people we have here, that means you can perform really well. They are really important people for us”.

“It’s so easy to play with Messi”

Finally the Brazilian spoke about Messi, smiling when he said that “it’s so easy to play with him”. “I always say we have the world’s best footballer in that position,” he pointed out. “He’s a player who knows what to do all the time, and he does make a big difference.”
Alves: “We can’t ease up”

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“Training at the Ciudad Deportiva is great”
Dani Alves gave high marks to the squad’s first training session this Monday at the new facilities at the club’s Ciudad Deportiva Joan Gamper complex, which from now on will be the normal venue for first team training. “The set-up’s really impressive and training here is great,” he said. “We’re all very happy. This is our new home.”

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