Dani Alves explains why he underwent Barcelona unveiling barefoot
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Dani Alves’ emotional return to Barcelona was announced on Friday after a five-year hiatus from the Catalan club. And in a strange twist, the Brazilian right-back bizarrely attended his unveiling in front of a crowd of over 10,000 adoring fans at Nou Camp by going barefoot onto the pitch.
Alves joined Barcelona in 2008 from Sevilla as a 25-year old, making him one of the most expensive defenders ever at the time – and also entered the pitch with nothing on his feet.
Having made 391 appearances for the Blaugrana, Alves won six La Liga titles, four Copa del Rey winner’s medals and four Champions League trophies in his time in Catalonia.
Forming part of one of the greatest teams in history under Pep Guardiola, Alves is considered by many as one of the best right-backs ever, if not the best.
And his sensational return to Barcelona – even at the age of 38 – has given fans hope of a boost in the club’s league position.
But in arguably one of the strangest unveilings of a footballer ever, he one-upped his 2008 appearance by taking to the pitch in flip-flops before removing them to walk around in his bare feet.
The Juazeiro-born star has described why he did so, stating he came back to do it again to show fans he is still the same person he was 13 years ago.
“In life many things can change. Now I’m a little more handsome than the other time [that he signed], but there are others who can’t change – and stepping on this lawn again, I couldn’t do it any other way,” Alves said.
“Here I have grown up and I come back a little small to make this club bigger again.
“It’s not my or the president’s thing. This club is one of our things. Those of us who feel this club and this shield must be together again to put the club upstairs, where it deserves to be again.”
Alves will likely vie with Sergino Dest for the right-back berth at the Nou Camp, with the American failing to fully impress since his move last year.
And the Brazilian believes he will be a superb addition upon his return.
“I didn’t know if that dream had ended when I left, but the dream has said that it wasn’t going to end that moment and that’s why I’m here again,” he continued.
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“If we think about being positive and understanding that things are achieved with work and strength, we will win again. Barça is more than a club.
“People focus on salary but for me it is not important. I have never had anything and with little I am satisfied. It is not the time to think about that, it is time to go back and help.”
Barcelona currently sit ninth in La Liga, 11 points behind leaders Real Sociedad after just 12 matches.
And they have a chance to put their recent form right in the derby game against Espanyol on Saturday evening.
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