Dani Alves has claimed that Barcelona teammate Javier Mascherano “should’ve fought” for the 2014 FIFA Ballon d’Or.
Mascherano was considered to have played a key role in Argentina’s run to the 2014 World Cup final, but Alves believes his colleague’s unfashionable role on the pitch cost him the recognition he deserved.
“In the last five or six years, we’ve seen an incredible version of the squad,” he told FIFA’s official website.
“And when people thought we couldn’t do more, we did. That's the footballing stability with which you dream throughout your career.
“We keep wanting to continue competing, and that’s taken us to where we are.
“We’re aware that our opponents are also prepared and can win, but the feeling and desire that we have is unprecedented, unbelievable even.
“For the true lovers of football, Barca are something admirable.
“The cameras are with [the MSN’] because they’re great! But I still think that football, beyond the attack, is about the collective.
“I give the example of Mascherano, who had an amazing World Cup [in 2014].
“He should’ve fought for the Ballon d’Or [that year], but players who ‘destroy’ the game don’t have much influence in the media.
“My philosophy has always been to adapt to what the team and my teammates want from me.
“I’m a team player. We all think that way at Barcelona, that’s the key to our success.
“The Press choose who speaks, but no-one is selfish here. It's hard to put together so many stars and keep everyone humble.”