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Tokyo 2020 – Brazil’s second successive Olympic gold marks historic milestone for Barcelona legend

Following in the footsteps of former Barcelona team mate Neymar Jr, Dani Alves has proudly led his country to an Olympic gold medal, emulating the achievement set on home turf at Rio 2016.

As Alves adds his Tokyo gold to a collection that has contributed towards an illustrious career, it notches his medal tally up to 43, making him the most decorated player in football.

Brazil beat Spain 2-1 in Sunday’s final, confirming back-to-back Olympic gold medals for Brazilian football.

Brazil’s gold medallists celebrate on the podium during the medal ceremony of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games men’s football competition at Yokohama International Stadium in Yokohama, Japan, on August 7, 2021. (Photo by Vincenzo PINTO / AFP) (Photo by VINCEN

Image credit: Eurosport

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For eight years between 2008 and 2016, the defender became a vital cog in a well-oiled Barcelona machine that conquered Europe in a glittering spell for the Spanish giants.

The Brazilian adopted a winning mentality wherever he played throughout his career, experiencing his first taste of major silverware at Sevilla under Juande Ramos, as the club won the UEFA Cup against Steve McLaran’s Middlesbrough in Eindhoven.

Considered as one of the greatest right-backs of his generation, if not all-time, his remarkable run at the summit of world football all started at his first club, Bahia, where he won his first honour.

Bahia (1)

Alves started his career at Bahia, a Brazilian club based in Salvador, 300 miles north from where grew up in Juazeiro.

He registered two assists on his professional debut to mark his place in the starting 11, a sign of things to come. His impressive form between 2001-02 earned him a loan to Sevilla, the move that led him on a path to glory.

Sevilla (5)

  • UEFA Cup (2005-06, 2006-07)
  • UEFA Super Cup (2006)
  • Supercopa de España (2007)
  • Copa Del Rey (2007)

It was with Sevilla where Alves really announced himself on the European stage.

In Seville he won back-to-back UEFA Cup titles, and helped the club to a 3-0 win over his future employers Barcelona in the 2006 UEFA Super Cup in Monaco, putting in a man of the match performance.

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EINDHOVEN, NETHERLANDS – MAY 10: Daniel Alves of Sevilla FC fights for the ball with Mark Viduka of Middlesbrough FC (L) during the UEFA Cup final between Middlesbrough FC and Sevilla FC on May 10, 2006 at the PSV Stadion in Eindhoven, Netherlands. (Photo

Image credit: Eurosport

Alves went on to make 232 appearances for Sevilla where he also played his part that earned the club’s fourth Copa del Rey cup, before eventually leaving for Barcelona in 2008.

Barcelona (23)

  • La Liga (2008–09, 2009–10, 2010–11, 2012–13, 2014–15, 2015–16)
  • UEFA Champions League (2008–09, 2010–11, 2014–15)
  • Copa del Rey (2008–09, 2011–12, 2014–15, 2015–16)
  • UEFA Super Cup (2009, 2011, 2015)
  • FIFA Club World Cup (2009, 2011, 2015)
  • Supercopa de España (2009, 2010, 2011, 2013)

The majority of the 38-year-old’s achievements came during his eight-year stretch at the Camp Nou, where he won 19 individual honours to complement his 23 trophy-haul as he became a crucial player in one of the greatest European teams of all-time.

In his 391 appearances for Barcelona, he became a three-time European champion, six-time Spanish champion, including three consecutive titles between 2008 to 2011, and a three-time world champion with a treble of FIFA Club World Cups.

BERLIN, GERMANY – JUNE 06: Daniel Alves of Barcelona celebrates with the trophy after the UEFA Champions League Final between Juventus and FC Barcelona at Olympiastadion on June 6, 2015 in Berlin, Germany. (Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images)

Image credit: Eurosport

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A stand-out moment in Alves’ Barcelona career was the 2011 Champions League final at Wembley Stadium, Alves’ debut Champions League final, where he played a part in Barca’s 3-1 win against Sir Alex Ferguson’s Manchester United, when Barcelona were considered to be at the peak of their powers.

His 2011 European title helped the Brazilian to a place in the FIFA FIFPro World11, UEFA Team of the Year and ESM Team of the Year, where he would go on to feature many times.

During his time in Barcelona, Alves made 122 goal contributions, netting 21 goals and registering 101 assists.

Up next, Turin.

Juventus (2)

  • Serie A (2016–17)
  • Coppa Italia: (2016–17)

In a short and challenging period at Juventus, Alves managed to add a Seria A and Coppa Italia to his personal collection.

He featured in his third Champions League final whilst representing the Italian giants, bitterly losing out to the old enemy, Real Madrid, 4-1 in Cardiff.

Daniel Alves of Juventus during the UEFA Champions League Final match between Real Madrid and Juventus at the National Stadium of Wales, Cardiff, Wales on 3 June 2017. (Photo by Giuseppe Maffia/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

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Image credit: Eurosport

He played only 33 times for Juventus in his one season at the club, during a spell where he suffered a broken leg and was sidelined for little over two months.

After mutually agreeing to terminate his contract in the summer of 2017, he headed for Paris.

Paris Saint-Germain (6)

  • Ligue 1 (2017–18, 2018–19)
  • Coupe de France (2017–18)
  • Coupe de la Ligue (2017–18)
  • Trophée des Champions (2017, 2018)

Considering his time spent at the club, Alves won a remarkable amount of silverware at PSG. He played in Paris for two seasons and won the league both campaigns.

He picked up the Coupe de France in his first season, and narrowly missed-out on a double domestic-double after crashing out of the final in his second season.

PARIS, FRANCE – MAY 18: Dani Alves of Paris Saint-Germain runs with the ball during the French Ligue 1 match between Paris Saint-Germain and Dijon FCO at Parc des Princes on May 18, 2019 in Paris, France. (Photo by Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)

Image credit: Eurosport

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After his 73 appearances in France, he returned to Brazil.

São Paulo (1)

  • Campeonato Paulista (2021)

The arrival of a global superstar catapulted Sao Paulo to the state title in 2021

A life-long supporter of the club, Alves was given the number ten shirt on arrival and has adopted a midfield role, despite playing right-back his entire career.

Brazil (5)

  • Copa América (2007, 2019)
  • FIFA Confederations Cup (2009, 2013)
  • Summer Olympics – Gold medal (2020)

Alves has enjoyed 15 years representing Brazil, banking 121 appearances for both the national and Olympic teams.

TOPSHOT – Brazil’s Dani Alves (C) and teammates celebrates with the trophy after winning the Copa America after defeating Peru in the final match of the football tournament at Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on July 7, 2019. (Photo by Juan MAB

Image credit: Eurosport

This summer he added an Olympic gold medal to his ever-growing list of achievements, as he captained the side throughout the tournament and eventually claimed gold, beating Spain 2-1 in Saturday’s final.

He played alongside the likes of Bruno Guimaraes, Richarlison, Malcolm and Gabriel Martinelli under coach Andre Jardine as he won his fifth medal representing his country.

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Alves’ Tokyo success will count as a special and significant victory, as he is now the most decorated football player in history.

Watch every unmissable moment live from Tokyo 2020 across Eurosport, Eurosport app and discovery+. Download the Eurosport app for iOS and Android now.

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