Monday February 18 2013
Alves: Join me Neymar, because…

Dani Alves has reflected on why he continually talks to Santos forward and compatriot Neymar about joining Barcelona.

The full-back has been quoted in the media more than once already urging the attacking talent to make the move to the Camp Nou, if he chooses to leave Santos.

Talking to FIFA’s official website in an interview published this week, the Brazilian has reflected on why he is so keen to see his compatriot join him.

“Have I told him to come to Barcelona? Yes, you bet. I’ve been at it for ages! When the rumours of him making a move to Europe started I told him he should come to Barcelona,” enthused Alves.

“It’s more than a club. The motto says it all: they look after you, they pamper you and they always treat you and your family well. Look, it’s got values that virtually no other club has, and that’s what makes it unique.

“Everyone says you can’t compete with Barcelona, but if you go to the club, you’ll see that they work from the bottom up and that’s why we’ve got all these great players.

“If you look at the signings they make, they just buy what they need. The rest of the players are all from the youth set-up. They made a commitment to it and the results are there.

“We’ve got two teammates fighting it out for the Ballon d’Or, which just goes to show the quality that’s there, and all without spending astronomical amounts on players.”

Alves was asked of his memories upon first signing for Barcelona.

“I thought it was strange that they didn’t sign players on the strength of their reputation or how famous they are. They do the opposite. When they sign someone they think about where he’d fit in the side and the job he can do.

“And when you’ve got foundations like that you’re only going to grow as a team. It’s not something you can do in a couple of days. It takes years and years and years. Every one of us in this Barcelona side today should feel privileged.

“Playing for this club is good for your health, good for everything, and you really find out what human, footballing and competitive values are all about. It’s the best club and the best team in the world, without question.”

Alves has struggled in recent months with injuries more so than usual.

“Yes, of course I wish I had played more this year. It’s almost as if all the injuries I’ve never had in my career have happened to me now.

“The way I see it, though, it’s not a question of why they’ve happened but what I can take from them. I think I’ve had to go through this to be able to appreciate the things I don’t necessarily see when I’m focusing on my job.

“It’s been good for me in that I’ve matured and learned things. That’s the way I look at it. When you’re loyal to your work and you’re a model professional, then everything falls back into place.

“Right now I’m very happy to have started the year playing and I hope I can stay fit and play a part.”

Football Italia website