In little more than three seasons, Dani Alves has become a firm favourite with the fans. His dedication, quality and strength have won him a regular place in Josep Guardiola’s starting eleven, and he has made the right wing his domain.
There is no right back quite like Dani Alves anywhere in the world. He participates in team plays
like no other, making daring runs up the wing to support attacks, even going as far as the
opposition’s area, to extent that some people confuse him with a winger. But he is not. He is
a full back, but one that has such an amazing physique that he can do much more than what is
traditionally expected of a player in his position.
He came to Barcelona from Sevilla, where he was considered a hero, at the same time
that Josep Guardiola was made first team manager. He soon adapted to the Barça style and formed a
lethal understanding with Leo Messi, who he teamed up with on the right for a year and a half.
became somebody Leo Messi relied on heavily, but so did Xavi as the team marched on towards the
treble. The bad news that season was that Alves missed the Champions League final against Man
United through suspension. But he remained one of the most used players under Guardiola that year,
with 54 appearances.
141 games and 11 goals
He has gone on to feature in 141 games and continues to dominate the right hand side of
Barça’s football machine. Now that Messi is playing in a more central position, Alves has
really come into his own, and he even comes forward far enough to score. In three years, he has
been on target 11 times, usually with long range efforts and unexpected runs in from behind. He is
the all-round full back in the greatest of Brazilian traditions.
A happy man
But aside from his wonderful displays on the pitch, he has also proven to be an
exemplary professional. Dani Alves has always had an excellent relationship with the fans, which
surely has much to do with being a Brazilian that has lived in Seville. There is always a smile on
his face, and he celebrates his goals with a dance. Just the kind of happy man that football needs.