Monday 23 October 2017

Dani Alves attacks Barcelona as 'very false and ungrateful'

Dani Alves
Dani Alves

Luke Brown

Dani Alves has attacked his former club Barcelona for treating him disrespectfully towards the end of his career at Camp Nou, claiming the club’s board are “very false and ungrateful”.

The Brazilian nation team captain has also insisted that he “respects” former rival Cristiano Ronaldo.

The veteran full-back spent eight highly successful seasons playing for Barcelona, winning La Liga six times, the Copa del Rey four times and the Champions League three times.

However he has accused the Barcelona board of treating him disrespectfully 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.

By that point Alves had already made up his mind to leave the club upon the conclusion of his current contract. He signed for Serie A champions Juventus on a free-transfer at the beginning of this season.

“I like being loved and if they do not want me, then I am leaving,” the 33-year-old revealed in an interview with the Spanish newspaper ABC.

"During my last three seasons I always heard that Alves was leaving but the management never said anything to me.

"They were very false and ungrateful. They did not respect me. They only offered me a renewal because of the FIFA transfer ban.

"That's when I played their game and signed a renewal, which included a clause that allowed me to leave for free a year later.

"The people who run Barcelona have no idea how to treat their players."

Alves went on to claim that he did however reserve a large amount of respect for Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo.

The Spanish media has repeatedly insisted that the pair do not like one another, with Alves giving an interview during his time at Barcelona warning Ronaldo not to be too self-centered.

The feud escalated at the 2015 Ballon d’Or gala, with Ronaldo appearing to snub Alves on stage at the ceremony in Zurich. But Alves has claimed that the antipathy between the pair was all down to a misunderstanding, and that he ranks Ronaldo as one of the finest players in the world along with old team-mates Lionel Messi and Neymar.

“All my fights with Cristiano were because of the press,” he told ABC. “If people only knew how much I respect Cristiano Ronaldo. I will repeat it to make myself clear: I respect Cristiano Ronaldo.

"Everyone tells me what a fantastic professional he is. As for CR7, it’s different, he was my rival and I had to compete with him.

“When I said he always wanted the limelight, that when you win you are going to be the star but when you lose they will go for you, I said it in a very respectful way.

“And I think the same of [Lionel] Messi or Neymar. But my thoughts were not negative. What happens is that the press sold them differently, saying that I had spoken ill of him. And Ronaldo believed it.

"That’s why he did not greet me at the Ballon d’Or gala in 2015. I do not need to talk about anyone to go out in the newspapers. I have no ego."

Alves has performed well since leaving Barcelona for Juventus, impressing in a more advanced position in Massimiliano Allegri’s attacking 3-5-2 formation.

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