Dani Alves is to leave Barcelona after eight years and 23 trophies at the club.
Alves made his announcement on Thursday after completing his third domestic double with Barcelona. “I’m leaving but I’ll be back, because I’m a Barcelona fan just like anyone else,” Alves said.
“In July 2008 I joined this club and moved into the dressing room where I’ve experienced the best moments of my professional career. From the first day, that first training session under Pep Guardiola, until the last game of this last season, I had the fortune to passionately enjoy football.”
Guardiola brought the full-back to the Camp Nou in 2008 after six sensational years with Sevilla, where Alves inspired the team back-to-back UEFA Cups and a Copa del Rey with his energetic displays down the right flank. He proved a perfect fit at Barcelona, his ability to roam forward with the confidence of a winger dovetailing with Guardiola’s philosophy.
A typical move in the Guardiola era involved pass master Xavi Hernández picking out Alves on the right and the Brazilian providing the cross for Lionel Messi to convert.
Barça won every trophy available that first season, and the silverware just kept flowing, Alves going on to lift six Liga titles, four Copas del Rey, three Champions Leagues, three UEFA Super Cups plus three FIFA Club World Cups and four Spanish Super Cups. Having also won the UEFA Super Cup with Sevilla, Alves is the joint holder of the competition records of four wins and five appearances with Paolo Maldini.
Alves played a decisive role in all those Barcelona successes and left his footprint on what would prove to be his final Liga game, providing the cross for Luis Suárez’s second goal in the 3-0 win at Granada which clinched the title, his 100th Liga assist. A week later he would lift his final trophy in the Copa del Rey final for Barcelona, fittingly against Sevilla, the club where his long adventure in Spain began in 2002.
“I’m privileged, a hard-working and honourable footballer who’s been lucky enough to wear the shirt of the best club in the world in a wonderful decade for the club thanks to the quality of its players and coaches,” Alves said.
Barcelona also showed their gratitude to the Brazilian, declaring: “FC Barcelona express their gratitude to Dani Alves for the eight years that he has been at the club during which he has helped it to become bigger and better. His commitment to the club and his good nature has captured the hearts of Barça fans.”
UEFA Champions League: 2008/09, 2010/11, 2014/15
UEFA Super Cup: 2009, 2011, 2015
Liga: 2008/09, 2009/10, 2010/11, 2012/13, 2014/15, 2015/16
Copa del Rey: 2008/09, 2011/12, 2014/15, 2015/16
Spanish Super Cup: 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013
FIFA Club World Cup: 2009, 2011, 2015
UEFA Cup: 2005/06, 2006/07
UEFA Super Cup: 2006
Copa del Rey: 2006/07
Spanish Super Cup: 2007