Dani Alves reveals why he left Barcelona, says Sergio Ramos is the toughest defender he’s ever faced, Neymar is the most skilful player he’s played with… and chooses Lionel Messi over Cristiano Ronaldo
- Dani Alves did a wide-ranging Instagram Q&A and addressed his Barcelona exit
- He said his mistrust of the club’s hierarchy had been ultimately been right
- Alves sided with Lionel Messi over Cristiano Ronaldo in the era-defining debate
- The Brazilian said Xavi has been his smartest team-mate so far in his career
- Sergio Ramos was Alves’ toughest defensive nemesis after their El Clasico duels
- Compatriots Neymar and Cafu were also singled out by the 37-year-old
Dani Alves has aimed a dig at the Barcelona board, saying he left the club because he had a lack of faith in them.
The Brazilian right back said soon after joining Juventus in 2016 that he felt the club’s hierarchy had not been open about the fact they wanted to sell him following eight years at the Nou Camp, where he racked nearly 400 appearances and won six LaLiga titles and three Champions League.
And in a Q&A with his 31.7million followers on Instagram, Alves elaborated on the reason for his departure, with his comments reported by MARCA.
Dani Alves (left) won 23 trophies – including four Champions Leagues – while at Barcelona
But he says he joined Juventus (pictured in action) after he felt ‘disrespected’ by Barca’s board
Lionel Messi (left) may share Alves’ grievances after the departure of Luis Suarez last summer
‘I did not believe in the leaders who were in charge in that moment,’ said Alves, who currently plays for Sao Paulo.
‘Later it was proven that I was right. As I was the first person who said it, they called me crazy, but, as always…I am a good crazy!’
The club’s hierarchy has been criticised for a lack of investment in a squad that hasn’t won the Champions League since 2015 and has seen a number of influential players, most recently Luis Suarez, leave the club.
Suarez’s departure angered Lionel Messi and partly led the 33-year-old maestro to sensationally hand in a transfer request after a summer in which Barca were humiliated 8-2 by Bayern Munich in Europe’s premier club competition.
When drawn on whether he thought former team-mate Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo had enjoyed the greater career, Alves replied: ‘Despite the greatness of the two, a picture is worth a thousand words’ along with an Instagram image of him with the six-time World Player of the Year.
The 37-year-old also named Xavi as the smartest player he had ever played with and branded Sergio Ramos ‘too strong’ as he picked out the Real Madrid stalwart as the most formidable defender he has faced in his career.
Alves unsurprisingly prefers former team-mate Lionel Messi as a player to Cristiano Ronaldo
Midfield metronome Xavi was named by Alves as the smartest team-mate in his career so far
Sergio Ramos was Alves’ choice as his toughest defensive opponent after dozens of El Clasicos
When asked whether fellow Brazil international and former Barca player Neymar was the most skilful player in world football right now, Alves replied: ‘Without a doubt.’
The ex-Juventus and Paris Saint-Germain also paid tribute to another icon of his country and also showcased his humility when he was asked if he considered himself the greatest right back in history.
‘After Cafu,’ was Alves’ succinct reply, paying homage to the man whose boundless energy and game intelligence was virtually unmatched.
Despite Alves’ glittering career laden with 41 senior trophies, one answer exemplified just how grateful he is to have enjoyed such success.
Asked to recount the most important moment of his career, Alves said it was ‘when my father saw me play for the first time and saw that the dream had come true’.
Alves said fellow Brazilian Neymar (centre) was ‘without a doubt’ the world’s most skilful player
Alves was humble enough to say that Cafu was the greatest right back ever – with him second