Dani Alves: “I wasn’t born to be second, I was born to be first”

Dani Alves was introduced as a Barcelona player for the second time today, more than 13 years after the first time back in 2008. The Brazilian was 25 then and he’s 38 now, but what hasn’t change since is his desire to perform and contribute toward the club’s goals. 10,000 fans attended his presentation out of respect.

“One thing hasn’t changed, the desire,” he said as carried by Mundo Deportivo. “I have a little less hair, but the desire is the same. I know what I can contribute. I can not only contribute on the pitch, but also off it; I can create synergy between the club and the fans, synergy that can help the results to change.

“Age is just a number. There are many great players out there playing at a high level, and that’s my goal. I just demonstrated it at the Olympic Games. People will expect the best of me and I will respond. I wasn’t born to be second, I was born to be first.

“I haven’t come here to pass the time. I’ve come here to play and to fight for my position. I’ve spoken with Xavi and I’ll be a full-back, but I don’t place limits upon myself. At the moment I’m training as a full-back and fighting to earn my place, not because of what I’ve achieved in the past but because of my desire. I’m going to earn the right to wear that shirt.”

Alves hasn’t played club football for some months given he left Sao Paulo in September after he rescinded his contract over a financial dispute, although he did lead Brazil to a gold medal in the Tokyo Olympic Games, as he mentioned. He played every minute of every game as Brazil beat La Roja in the final, thus proving he still has the legs for intense competition.

The Brazilian is considered by many to be the greatest right-back to have ever pulled on a pair of football boots. He’s won titles wherever he’s gone, whether that’s Bahia, Sevilla, Barcelona, Juventus, Paris Saint-Germain or Sao Paulo.

One of the only trophies missing from his collection is the World Cup, and one of the reasons he’s back at Barcelona is to prove he can still cut it at the sharp end of the European game and earn a place in Tite’s Brazil squad for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

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