Dani Alves has reflected on Lionel Messi’s magic, the return of his understanding with him and on how the Argentine will be fit to face Bayern Munich.
Barcelona head out to Germany this Tuesday evening for the first leg of their Champions League semi-final against the Bavarians uncertain of Messi’s availability with a thigh injury.
“Will he be ready for Bayern? Yes, because he is needed and sometimes, we have to make an effort for the sake of the team,” declared Alves to CR this week.
“Messi knows he is the best in the world and that is for something, for the power that he has to change the game and the atmosphere he creates just by his presence.
“And we appreciate the effort. But if he is not there, we must step up.
“His presence changes things in general – for us, for the opponent, for the fans, because we are talking about the best and he is the best for something, because he has powers. Magical powers? That!”
Alves was asked why the on-pitch partnership on the right wing he had previously shown with Messi had been lacking earlier in the season.
“It was lost because we did not have continuity. If you do not play, you cannot have that understanding.
“Following the injury that I had in the first part of the season, I could not play as I would have liked, but now I am fine, playing and it is always easier to play with the best.”
The wing-back was also asked why he has such a strong the love-hate relationship with fans in the game.
“Because, if Messi has magical powers, so do I! But mine are more radical [laughs]. With me there is no middle ground – either they love me or they hate me.
“But what is certain is that my family and friends remember and they can tell you that the places where I am disliked now I was once loved at.
“I have newspaper cuttings of my career so far and if I were to show them to you, you’d see that at any time, they loved me and now they cannot stand me. That’s life.”
The Brazilian also reflected on why he feels Messi is greater than Cristiano Ronaldo.
“Because Messi is gifted and Cristiano is the result of working, that’s the difference. Messi was born and it was determined that he was going to be the best and he is, and he has not had to work to be.
“Yes he does work, but he does not need much. From the outside, Cristiano is very good, but he works very well to improve and be the best.
“Messi, however, with normal work is the best because he is touched by God, in my humble opinion of course.”