Dani Alves has confirmed that he is to leave Barcelona, with the Brazilian agreeing to join Juventus on a two-year contract.
Alves, whose purchase was expressly requested by Juve coach Massimiliano Allegri, departs Barcelona on a free after eight trophy-laden seasons at Barcelona He made 391 appearances for Los Azulgranas, scoring 21 goals, and won a host of trophies including six La Liga titles, four Copa del Rey and three Champions Leagues.
Earlier on Thursday, Barça sporting director Robert Fernández confirmed the departure saying:
“I don’t like the idea that Alves is leaving. His performance has been fantastic both on and off the field, but it is his decision to go and we must respect it.”
Robert added: “Alves’ contract was expired since last year and the club were in a complicated situation. He was a very important player so the club opted to renew.
“So that a player is happy, one looks for situations that benefit everyone and in this case, the clause was that he could be a free agent after one year. Clubs do not always win in these negotiations.
“Last year we renewed under special circumstances because we could not sign players [FIFA ban]. At that time the renewal was logical and normal.
“He had had a great season. He has always done really well here but now he has decided to go. That is a personal decision and there is nothing more. He has communicated with us his intention to leave the club.”
In a statement published on their official website, Barça paid tribute to the defender.
“FC Barcelona express their gratitude to Dani Alves for the eight years that he has been at the Club,” the Catalan outfit said. “His commitment to the Club and his good nature has captured the hearts of Barça fans.
“Now, FC Barcelona wish him all the best in this new phase of his footballing career. Obrigado, Alves!”
The love-in continued as Alves posted a farewell letter to the Barcelona fans in an open letter posted on his Instagram account:
“I’ve decided to seek a new challenge in my career,” wrote the full-back. “Thank you for making me feel so loved.”
It’s an interesting signing by Juventus as Alves isn’t your typical right back. He is much better going forward than he is defending, and I wonder if Allegri has him penciled in as a wing-back in a 3-5-2 formation next season?