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Brazillian right-back Dani Alves is one of the most prolific players of modern football, who represents Paris Saint Germain in France Ligue 1, where he is the 3rd captain.
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He spent 8 years in Barcelona, but before joining the Spanish club for 32.5 million Euros, he had a successful tenure of 6 years in Sevilla, helping the team in lifting the UEFA Cup twice, and winning the Copa del Rey title. He also helped his team win the Club World Cup, the UEFA Super Cup and the Supercopa de España, besides grabbing the Supercopa de España and UEFA Champions League twice each, as well as the La Liga title 5 times. He has been associated with Brazil since 2006, and became part of the squad representing two World Cups and four Copa América campaigns, going ahead to win the Copa America in 2007, as well as the FIFA Confederations Cup in 2009 and 2013.
After spending much of his childhood playing football with the other kids in the neighbourhood, Alves, enthused by his football-loving father, went on to organize his own soccer team! He played as a winger there, but his father soon thought it was a good idea to shift him to the right-back. In 1996, he joined Juazeiro, and stayed there till 1998, before he joined the youth program of Bahia, where he played for three seasons.
After three seasons in the youth team of Bahia, Alves debuted in Esporte Clube Bahia’s first team in a 2001 game against Paraná Clube as part of the squad that played in Campeonato Brasileiro Série A. His team earned a win of 3–0, as Alves contributed two assists, and also earned a penalty opportunity for another goal. Evaristo de Macedo, the head coach of the team, made him a starting player in the squad. He helped the team win the Campeonato Baiano title in 2001, besides lifting the Northeast Cup twice in 2001 and 2002. In the middle of 2002, he joined Sevilla after his consistent performances earned the interest of the team. During his time, Bahia won the Copa do Nordeste 2002.
Alves joined Sevilla in 2002-03 on loan from Bahia. He was then seen joining the squad in the FIFA World Youth Championship in 2003, and was highly impressive there, as Brazil won the title. Alves acquired the third place on the list of the best players of that tournament, and Sevilla decided to sign Alves on a permanent basis. In June 2006, it was decided that he would be sold to Liverpool, but their asking price of £8 million was too high for the English team. In December 2006, his new contract with Sevilla extended his stay at the Sevilla till 2012. 2006–07 was a successful season, as he scored 5 goals in 47 games. He was part of all the matches in the UEFA Cup, a competition that Sevilla managed to win.
In 2007, Alves was associated with several teams like Marca and Chelsea, especially because Alves himself announced, time and again, that he wanted to leave Sevilla. He mentioned once that he wanted to go to Marca, and then announced that he had visited England to sign for Chelsea. In August 2007, however, an unspecified bid by Chelsea, followed by two more bids, were rejected by Sevilla, since the bidding amounts did not match their expectation. Alves, however, was upset about these dismissals which led his plans to join the English Premier League to fall through. After a public spat and the death of Antonio Puerta, his teammate, Alves reconciled with the team authorities and stayed back.
During his tenure, his team’s successes include:
In July 2008, Alves signed with Spanish giants Barcelona, after bidding an emotional goodbye to Sevilla. The transfer price was revealed to be £23 million in the beginning, and another £7 million based on some other factors related to his performances in the following seasons. He became one of the top expensive defenders, as well as the Barca’s third-most expensive purchase. He signed a deal of four years, and the contract ad a buy-out clause worth 90 million EUR.
Alves debuted for Barcelona in Champions league 2008-09 game against Wisła Kraków in August 2008. His La Liga debut was in the season-opener against Numancia in August 2008. But he missed the final of UEFA Champions League 2009 because of a suspension. In 2010–11, Alves was one of the key players in helping Barcelona to win the La Liga for the third consecutive time.
In May 2011, Alves appeared in Champions League for the first time, in the final match, and Barcelona won over Manchester United with a score of 3–1, winning their fourth European Cup. In 2011–12, he was a member of the Barca squad that earned the Copa del Rey as well as the Club World Cup. In 2012–13, Alves helped win the fourth La Liga title. In 2013–14, Alves chose jersey 22, which belonged to Éric Abidal, who was suffering from liver cancer, as Alves wanted to donate a portion of his own liver for Abidal’s transplant surgery.
In June 2015, Alves started for his club in the final of Champions League 2015, and Barca succeeded in winning the European Cup for the fifth time, winning against Juventus. They became the first club to earn two trebles of the domestic league, the domestic cup and the European Cup. In June 2015, he signed a contract of two years with Barca, extending his stay will the end of June 2017, along with the option to extend this contract by another one year.
In June 2016, it was declared that Alves would leave Barcelona in the summer transfer window, after eight years in Barca. He was allowed to leave before the contract period on a free transfer. Barca’s successes during his tenure include:
In June 2016, It was announced that Alves would join Juventus, signing a deal of two years, alongside the option for an extension for another year. He debuted for Juventus in August in a 2–1 victory in Serie A over Fiorentina. In September, Alves made the first goal for his new team in a 4–0 victory over Cagliari, before he opened his account in Champions League against Dinamo Zagreb. In November, he broke his leg in a match that ended in a loss of his team to Genoa with a score of 3–1. He returned in a 1–0 win in Derby d’Italia against Internazionale in February 2017.
In May 2017, Alves scored one goal, and made one assist for Mario Mandžukić, helping Juventus to beat Monaco with a score of 2–1 and reach the finals of Champions League 2017. This was shortly after Alves assisted Gonzalo Higuaín in scoring both the goals in a draw at Stade Louis II. In May, he made the first of the two goals in a 2–0 win over Lazio in the final of Coppa Italia 2017. In June, Alves was seen in his fourth Champions League final, but his team lost to Real Madrid with a score of 4–1. In June, Alves and his team mutually decided upon the termination of his contract. During Alves’ spell at Juventus, the club earned the Serie A 2016–17, as well as Coppa Italia 2016–17.
In July 2017, Alves joined the French Ligue team Paris Saint-Germain by signing a contract of two years. It was a free transfer, after which he debuted for the club in July 2017, in the Trophée des Champions, where he scored one goal and made one assist to Adrien Rabiot in making the winning shot in the 2–1 win over defending Ligue 1 champions Monaco. In August, he made an assist to Edinson Cavani in scoring the team’s first goal for Ligue 1 2017-18 in a match that ended in a win by 2–0. He thus helped PSG earn the Trophée des Champions 2017.
Alves became part of the U20 team of Brazil in 2003, and debuted in the first team in a 2006 unofficial friendly against Al-Kuwait Selection. He was soon capped internationally for the first time in a friendly game in which they faced Ecuador. He became part of the international squad in Copa América 2007. He played in 4 games, which included the final in which the team faced Argentina. He not only scored one of the three goals in the 3-0 win, but also assisted in scoring another.
He failed to maintain a regular starting position in Brazil. He appeared in the semi-final of the FIFA Confederations Cup 2009, facing South Africa and scoring the winning goal in the form of a free kick, in a 1–0 victory. He also scored a free-kick from a long range against Iran in October 2010. In May 2014, he was declared as part of the World Cup 2014 squad. Brazil beat Colombia in the quarter-final with a score of 2–1, and Alves and David Luiz were appreciated for their gesture when they comforted James Rodríguez.
Brazil’s successes during Alves’ tenure include:
Alves took birth in the Brazilian city named Juazeiro in the state of Bahia. His father, Domingos Alves da Silva, was a farmer, but had great passion for the sport. Alves managed to put together a team and his father constantly looked over his style of playing. It was his father who first placed him in the right-back position where he plays. Alves himself was a a farmer and a trader during his early years. H has a dual citizenship in Brazil and Spain. He has been married to Joana Sanz since 2017, after his marriage to Dinora Santana ended in 2011. He is greatly appreciated for the ways he has dealt with racism on the field, one particular example being the match at Villarreal, when a supporter threw a banana at him, and he simply picked it up and ate it, making it clear that he did not want to make a big deal out of all this, and thus feed the fire. Alves is also noted for his sportsman spirit, towards teammates and opponents.
Alves’ current market value is 6 million EUR, which is quite a drop from his highest market value of 36 million EUR, which he acquired in 2012 when he was still in Barcelona.
Alves has made some stunning contributions to his teams, and helped earn several trophies and titles. In the process, he has proven himself to be a stunning performer, and his skills with the ball have earned him the following awards and honours: