The defender says every player who has left Barcelona by choice has come to regret it
Dani Alves has told Lionel Messi not to leave Barcelona, with the Brazilian saying it would be an exit he’d come to regret.
Messi is in the final months of his contract and talk about his future continues to swirl.
Barcelona remain confident the Argentina superstar will remain at Camp Nou, and Alves believes that would be the best outcome for all.
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What has been said?
Alves spent eight years at Barcelona and does not want Messi to experience the same regrets he had upon his departure in 2016.
“I have said to Messi several times: he was born to be a Barcelona player and Barcelona were born to be his club,” Alves told the Guardian. “He has given me advice before so I can do the same to him. Once he told me to stay in Barcelona because there wasn’t any place that was better. ‘Where will you be happier?’ he asked me. So I stayed.
“Now I have reminded him of that conversation and that a good friend (him) advised me that Barcelona is the best place ever. I haven’t had an answer from him yet but when you leave Barcelona you realise how good it is. All the players, and I mean everyone, who has left Barcelona have been sorry. All of them regret leaving, irrespective of the reason.
“When I left the club, I just wanted to show my value to get back. But, unfortunately, the same people who were against me when I was at the club stayed there. I showed that I was able to play for Barcelona for another 10 years. I tried to go back to Barcelona. I wanted to go back to Barcelona. I played to go back to Barcelona, but they didn’t want me anymore.”
World Cup dream still burns
At 37, Alves is still performing to a high level in his native Brazil with Sao Paulo, and he has his sights trained on making the squad for the 2022 World Cup.
“The World Cup is a dream that I won’t give up,” Alves said. “I will fight to keep myself at a high level and to have this last experience with my national squad. This is my challenge.
“It’s no use just dreaming. I will compete. Now it’s time to work and to build. What motivates me are competition and my dreams. As long as I am alive I will fight for my dreams.”
Premier League regrets
Alves has carried himself with distinction in Spain, Italy, France and his native Brazil. An omission from his CV is a stint in the Premier League.
He had chances to join Liverpool and Manchester City in 2006 and 2017 respectively, and not testing himself in England is a source of regret.
“It’s my broken wing to not have played in the Premier League,” the legendary right-back said. “When I was at Sevilla I came close to joining Liverpool. I don’t know how my life would have turned out but Liverpool is one of the biggest clubs in the world.
“It was my fault it didn’t work out with Manchester City. The deal was all OK but I had some personal problems and had to change my plans.
“It would have been wonderful to work with the man who changed my life again. There is a bad taste to have failed to do that, to have failed him. I don’t like to fail people and especially not those who believed me, trusted in me and helped me become who I am today. I have already said sorry to him (Pep Guardiola). I failed. But I am a human being and I make mistakes.”
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