Dani Alves tears into decline at Barcelona for losing 'their identity'

‘Barcelona’s management have gone prostituting’: Dani Alves tears into the decline at his former club who he says have ‘lost their identity’ – but reveals he helped convince Lionel Messi to stay in a summer heart-to-heart

  • Defender Dani Alves won 23 trophies during an eight-year spell at Barcelona  
  • But he claims the club setup have lost their identity both on and off the field
  • Alves once again claimed the club treated him poorly before deciding to leave
  • But the Brazilian revealed he did convince star Lionel Messi to stay at the club 

Dani Alves has scolded former club Barcelona by claiming they have lost their identity and accused the management of having ‘gone prostituting’.

The Brazilian won 23 trophies during an eight-year spell at Camp Nou, but the club are not currently the holders of any trophy following last season’s Champions League humiliation to Bayern Munich, having already conceded the LaLiga title to Real Madrid.

And speaking to Catalan radio station RAC1, 37-year-old Alves believes the club’s current slump is the result of the loss of their former imperious identity both on and off the field, which he claims has partly been brought about by poor player recruitment.  

Dani Alves has scolded former club Barcelona by claiming they have lost their identity

Alves did however reveal that he helped convince former team-mate Lionel Messi to stay at the club following the transfer saga in the summer

‘If you change the philosophy of the club, you will go through difficulties,’ Alves is quoted as saying by Mundo Deportivo. ‘Barca have lost their identity. You must go through that process and get it back.

‘What makes Barca different is their style and their values. In life you should not try to be what you are not. Barca are trying to be a commercial team, instead of being a team with their own personality. 

‘Before they signed the players they needed and they fitted into the philosophy of the club, but now they have signed a lot of people without the concept or identity of Barcelona. [They have signed] many valuable players, but [players] who do not defend the identity of the club. 

Alves however was critical of the former board and former president Josep Bartomeu (above)

‘The management have gone ‘prostituting’. Barca defended a philosophy and now they don’t have it.’

This is not the first time the current Sao Paulo right-back has been critical of the Catalan giants, having previously cited the club’s apparent poor treatment of him as the reason for his departure for Juventus in 2016.

In an interview with ABC three years ago, he accused the Barcelona board of being ‘very false and ungrateful’ towards the end of his time at the club, by failing to offer him a new contract until April 2014 — when the club was hit by a 14-month transfer ban for breaking rules on signing international players under 18.

And when the Brazil international was asked who was to blame for the current malaise off the field at his former side, he drew on his own acrimonious departure to deliver a damning verdict on the recently departed president Josep Bartomeu and the former board. 

‘I think that Barto [Bartomeu] was influenced by his surroundings, by those around him. They wanted to let me go without even talking to me,’ Alves continued. 

Alves won 23 trophies in his eight-year spell at the club before departing for Juventus

‘I love that club, I wasn’t going to sign for anyone, it seemed disrespectful to me. And when there was a sanction they came to talk to me.’

Four years after Alves’ departure, Lionel Messi signalled his desire to leave the club by submitting a transfer request in the summer.

The Argentine decided to stay following resistance from Barcelona and LaLiga over the validity of an exit clause, and Alves has revealed he had a hand in convincing the 33-year-old to remain at Camp Nou. 

‘Once he [Messi] told me, when they wanted to kick me out and I could leave: ‘Where will you be better than at Barca,?’ Alves added.

But he has always claimed he was poorly treated by the club before deciding to move to Italy

‘And when this summer’s story came out I told him the same thing. If you answered me? No. But the difference is that they wanted to kick me out, not him.’

Alves also revealed he offered Barcelona the chance to re-sign him after a year at Juventus – but claims they ‘didn’t have the balls’ to admit they were wrong to let him leave.

Instead, he went to France where he joined PSG, going on to lift six trophies in his two seasons with the Ligue 1 giants.

He is now back in his native Brazil playing for boyhood club Sao Paulo, and he is still captain of the Brazil team despite being well into the twilight of his career.

Alves currently plays back in his native Brazil for Sao Paulo and is still captain of Brazil

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