Barcelona have been through the ringer in recent years. After unparalleled success, reckless spending has put them in a financial hole and the club has been forced to rebuild their team without the iconic Lionel Messi.
That financial crisis is probably part of the reason that Dani Alves has been able to return to the club. Aged 38 when he resigned for the club, Barcelona were looking into low cost options and with a younger core coming through, an old head to guide them.
The Brazilian had some interesting ideas on just where the club had gone wrong in recent years though. Speaking to Marca, Alves felt the club had lost its direction.
“For me what changed at Barca is that they allowed themselves to be swayed by the current. Football has been changing and the club mistakenly wanted to change and follow that current. But if you have a solid base, you don’t have to adapt to what emerges or the fashion because then you will be vulnerable. Barca have an academy on which they can build and go from there, because that is their strength.”
“Football has been changing and [Barca] tried to buy and sell, and that isn’t Barca! The academy has to be rescued and that should be the strength of Barcelona. Then there are the details, that you continue acquiring in the market, as has always been done.”
“But betting on your academy and strengthening it with people, that way the team will be more solid. That is the process of change that I have seen at Barca and now we are trying to recover what there was before.”
Many in the Barcelona ‘entorno’ have been critical of the lack of academy players coming through in recent years, but since the arrival of Ronald Koeman, more youngsters have been given a chance.