Wednesday, February 1st, 2023

Dani Alves during Barcelona presentation

The returning Blaugrana hero was officially unveiled on Wednesday – and made a striking fashion statement

For the second time in his career, Dani Alves has worn flip flops to his Barcelona unveiling.

Alves signed with Barca as a free agent last week, returning to Camp Nou after six years away.

On Wednesday, the 38-year-old was presented to the Camp Nou faithful and, much as he did in 2008 when he signed from Sevilla, donned flip flops to mark the occasion.

In a clip posted on Barcelona’s Twitter account, the Brazilian said: “I’m wearing flip flops because some things can change, but others can’t.”

Barcelona will hope the veteran Brazilian can give the club a boost on and off the pitch.

The Blaugrana have struggled in their first season without Lionel Messi, sitting ninth in La Liga and losing two of their four Champions League games.

Alves has been a free agent since severing ties with Sao Paulo in September and will return to the club he starred for between 2008 and 2016, winning 23 trophies in the process.

The veteran right-back will be eligible to play from January.

Dani Alves was officially presented as a Barcelona player once again on Wednesday at the Camp Nou and had plenty to say afterwards at a press conference.

The Brazilian enjoyed himself out on the pitch beforehand, signing his contract, showing off his new No. 8 shirt and entertaining the fans in the stadium.

However, he cut a far more serious figure in the news conference and offered a lot of insight into his move and what he can offer Barcelona.

Alves on the team

I see the team well, with many young people. Things can be done better as a team. That is the philosophy of Barça: we all have to play in harmony. We need to return to the feeling that the ball is ours.

Alves on how much he’ll play

I wasn’t born to be second, I was always first. I’m here to fight, I’m not here to pass time or to live in Barcelona. I’ve come here to play and fight for a place. It’s not because I made history or because of my good relationship with Xavi. I’m going to fight and try to contribute. Age is just a number. I just proved it at the Olympics.

Alves on Dembele

I think Dembele is an exceptional player, he needs to understand he’s playing for Barca, that he’s very good. My mission is to remind him that he’s really good, he’s phenomenal, that he could do a lot of good things at this club

Alves on Dest

I have spoken with Dest. I will try to help him the most. He is a great player, we are going to try to make him understand how things are done at Barça so that he adapts to the club.

Alves on what he can bring to Barca

To fight for what we want. I may have a little less hair but the desire will be just as great. I know what this club represents and I know what I can contribute, both inside and outside, creating synergy with the club, the fans.

Alves on coming back

I was bothering the president a lot. I kept insisting I wanted to come back. I told him I was able to help. This club has given me everything I have. It’s a pleasure for me to help in these difficult times. Once Xavi was signed, I guess Laporta said ‘here Xavi he’s your problem’. Xavi called me and said he counted on me and the rest was easy. When you want something, you can achieve it, the external factors don’t matter, the money, it’s not important. For me it’s not the most important thing.

Alves on which position he’ll play

I come to play as a full-back. But I can do other things and when you put a limit on what you can do, it reduces your chances. My focus is the team. Xavi will decide. I am training as a full-back, working to win my place.

Alves on if he’ll stay another season

It is not a concern. I come until June, I count until then. And then, everything can be discussed. It has to do with the results. This is like an exam. You have to have a high grade to continue. If not, I will get my suitcase myself in June.

Alves on if Messi might regret leaving

If you give me a couple of hours, I will go and look for him. Leo is the greatest I have ever seen in the game, and you always miss the greats, especially when you have a good relationship with them. I love him very much. We’re in a new process here, and I would encourage everyone to come back. I have been in a lot of places, but there’s no place like this.

Alves on Xavi

I remember a game he played in which he did not miss a pass in 90 minutes. The truth is that life takes many turns, because who would say that my partner would be the coach today. But to do great things, good people always come together. And we have come together to be able to fulfill that mission. I will try to help him so that we can enjoy ourselves in a different way: me as a player and he as a coach.

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