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Dani Alves slams Barcelona for his ‘poorly handled’ exit



Photo by PAU BARRENA/AFP via Getty Images

Speaking in an interview with The Guardian, Dani Alves has hit out at Barcelona for the way the club handled his exit this summer.

The 39-year-old defender returned to Barcelona in November 2021, five years after having left the club. Having signed as a free agent, the Brazilian had to wait for his second debut in January.

Alves went on to feature 15 times in all competitions in the second half of the 2021/22 campaign, even contributing with a goal and three competitions.

The veteran defender had signed a short-term contract until June 2022 but had made it clear that he intended to continue at Camp Nou beyond that.

Initially, Barça looked like they would extend Alves’ contract, at least until the end of the year. But in the end, the Blaugrana decided to go the other way, releasing the 39-year-old at the expiry of his contract.

Opening up on his second time at Barcelona, Alves claimed that he was not left sad by his departure but was not pleased with how his exit was handled by the club.

“I didn’t leave sad. I left happy to have returned to Barcelona. I dreamed for five years wanting to live this second moment. The only thing I didn’t like was how my departure was handled,” Alves said.

“Since I arrived, I made it very clear that I wasn’t any more a 20-year-old guy and that I wanted things to be done head-on, without hiding things. But this club has sinned in recent years.”

Further hitting out at the way the club had been run in recent years, Alves said: “Barcelona don’t care about the people who made history for the club. As a culê [Barcelona supporter], I would like Barcelona to do things differently.”

However, he did clarify that he was not talking about his own situation, adding: “I’m not talking about myself because my situation was another scenario. I am eternally grateful to Xavi and the president for bringing me back.”

Alves further lavished praise on the crop of players coming through at Barcelona. However, he expressed his displeasure about the way things are being run off the field and claimed that it needed to change.

“I found a club full of young people with incredible ideas on the pitch. But it needs to improve the work outside the field. The mindset is totally opposite to what we built a few years ago. Everything that happens on the field is a reflection of what happens outside.

“I’m supporting for Barcelona to come back to the top, but it’s super-complicated. Football is more balanced, it’s a collective game. And that has been left out at the club,” Alves further added.

Having become a free agent again, the Brazilian international opened up on his future prospects, saying: “I like challenges and I adapt to any situation. Today I am unemployed, but interesting things have come up.

“I’m doing my study about places to go which have a good level of competitiveness. That’s football. You have to get together with people who want the same goal, who want to compete, to win. I like to win. I want to go somewhere I can win.”

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