Dani Alves, the most decorated footballer in history, has lived an incredible story. After being part of two historic teams in Spain with Sevilla and Barcelona, Alves went to Italy and France to pick up major honours with Juventus and Paris Saint-Germain. Some might have thought he was winding down his career after returning home to Brazil, but that would be underestimating the 39-year-old.
Speaking in a recent interview with Marca, Alves delved deep into his long career and his return to Barcelona last year. With the interview in Marca though, he was asked about the league Champions, Real Madrid. Alves told them that he had congratulated some of his colleagues in the Madrid squad and agreed with the suggestion that Karim Benzema should win the Ballon D’Or.
“He is earning it, because he has taken Real Madrid to places that in terms of level of play and in other facets, they weren’t at before. He has dragged them forward, he is deserving of it.”
As much as his return had an air of the fairy tale about it, the season is coming to an end. As Barcelona look to strengthen in the summer, some have wondered whether Alves might be deemed surplus to requirements.
“I live intensely the whole day, without thinking ahead because I don’t know what will happen. But what is true is that I would like to continue because I am at home here, I’m in the club and the team for which I had to fight for five years to get back to. And I think I can continue adding things for them, but it doesn’t depend on me.”
“And I’m not worried about that. My mission was to come here and show what I can bring. I’m not one of those who thinks that because of my whole career and everything I have one I don’t have to demonstrate anything to anyone, no. I always think that I should should my value. I can’t do anything else but give 200% to the club that I love and adore feverishly. But it’s up to them to decide.”
“If Barca want me to renew, love it. If they don’t want to, thank you very much and I’m going to keep defending this club to the death regardless of where I am.”
Naturally, just getting back to the club at the age of 38 was an incredible achievement. Marca were also keen to know what his secret is, where he had been able to have such prolonged success and others hadn’t.
“The secret, in the first place, is the respect you hold for yourself. When you try to do something you can’t do it on the surface. You have to feel it. Now I want to start a production company because I feel it, I know that it is going to work, it will connect people, opening a giant door into the medium so that people can get to know it.”
“It’s the same when you want to extend your career, you don’t leave today’s work for tomorrow. It’s the daily construction that makes it fruitful. Now I am reaping what I have sewn as a professional sportsman which is led by doing everything with a lot of respect and determination.”
“I don’t look at my age, I look at the desire I have, the challenge I put in front of myself, which is what is going to move me… I wake up every morning knowing what I want to fight for. You can grow old on the outside, but if you are young on the inside, you will last as long as you want. My objective is that when my age surpasses my achievements, then I will stop there.”