Back in the FC Barcelona squad since Xavi’s appointment as head coach, Daniel Alves (38) started Barça’s first two games of 2022. And the least we can say is that the Brazilian feels like a fish in water in a club in search of certainties.
Facies frustrated, Xavi comes to the post-match conference in Granada with harsh words towards his team. “It’s a game where we should have led 2-0 and killed the game, and it was our own mistakes that made us lose, poured out the Catalan coach last Saturday. We have to question ourselves if we are to grow and improve, because we have trained hard to try to avoid games like this, and we are still struggling. ” The reality is there: with the expulsion during the meeting of Gavi, only 17 years and 157 days in the legs, Barça let slip a victory likely to make him integrate the top 4 of La Liga. This cruel lack of experience, the technician of Culés wishes to fill it in practice thanks to the know-how of the old ones. Ter Stegen, Piqué, Jordi Alba, Busquets … and now Daniel Alves. In Los Cármenes, the right-back was even the main satisfaction of the game. blaugrana.
Two games, one assist
These are two matches that the Brazilian international with 119 caps made his return with the Barça jersey on his shoulders. Ineligible when he was signed last November because not registered in the Barcelona workforce and therefore forced to wait for the reopening of the registration period from January 3, Alves appeared in the starting lineup against Linarès in the Cup. du Roi, then this weekend in Granada in La Liga. Each time, the 38-year-old was responsible for a wiper function in a system where the sides are of paramount importance. Result of the races? Alves played both games in their entirety, helping Barca qualify for the next round in the Spanish Cup and even giving Luuk de Jong an assist to open the scoring in Granada. As in the good old days when Dani Alves raised the C1 with Barça, the rookie is not at all stingy in terms of efforts to coal in a club which offers him a second youth.
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In fact, the person had warned when he landed barefoot on the lawn of Camp Nou during his presentation. “It’s an honor to work here, explained the regular of the place with a broad smile. If you remember the last time I took the microphone in this stadium, it was to tell you that I didn’t know how long this dream was going to last. Today my dream continues. I was a little heavy with President Laporta when I knew that I was in the little papers, I relaunched him regularly, because I wanted to play again for this club which gave me almost everything! I felt genuine pleasure in being able to help. ” Eager to wear the number 8 in order to pay a living tribute to legends Hristo Stoitchkov and Andrés Iniesta, Alves takes possession of the number associated with infinity and that could not better define it in this troubled period for Barça. If the native of Bahia must now render service with the lowest salary of the current workforce (155,000 euros per year according to the Vanguard), his current presence as taulier also underlines the gravity of Barcelona’s ills in the face of the difficulties of adaptation of Sergiño Dest or Óscar Mingueza.
Obviously, the poor dynamic both economic and sporting Barça generated many taunts on social networks at the time of the announcement of the return of Dani Alves in the workforce. Obviously, Barça in 2022 no longer has the same level as that of 2015. Obviously also, Dani Alves does not symbolize the future of the club. But is his recruitment a failure? Sure, no. Last summer in Tokyo, Dani Alves captained Brazil during his victorious Olympic campaign, gleaning gold against Spain where it was necessary to muzzle Mikel Oyarzabal, Dani Olmo and Marco Asensio in attack. Tonight in Riyadh, the latter will have the opportunity to take his revenge with Real Madrid. Another challenge for Alves, always ready to play the firefighter on duty.
By Antoine Donnarieix