21 December 2011

Dani Alves: “Guardiola is the heart of this team”

Dani Alves says that the squad’s principal goal is to convince Josep Guardiola to stay on as Barça’s manager. “We all know that without him we wouldn’t be the great team that we are”.

The defender qualifies the titles won by Barça as “spectacular” and he adds that it's difficult “to adequately express the many joys” of being part of the team.


Dani Alves, at the event sponsored by Global Humanitaria to introduce the NGO’s wristband, praised Josep Guardiola and the key role the manager plays in the team’s success: “He is the heart of this team, of the Club. We all know that without Guardiola we wouldn’t be the great team that we are now, without him we wouldn’t have won so many titles.” For this reason, according to the player, one of the squad’s goals is to “keep him here a long time.”

Since Guardiola took charge of the Barça bench, the team has won 13 titles out of 16 played. “The balance is spectacular,” said Alves, “we will never have so many quality players in the same team, with so much eagerness to make people happy, and with the ambition to keep on winning titles.” Along these lines, the footballer called on his team to “continue with the same hunger to make people enjoy the game.” For the Brazilian, “it’s an honour to be part of a Club like this,” and that it's difficult “to adequately express the many joys” of being part of the team.

Alves attributes to Guardiola the merit of “returning football” to the fans. “Football turned into a sport where people didn’t enjoy themselves, it was all about the result, and that isn’t very attractive, it wasn’t exciting. Pep has recuperated that. We compete to win, but he has reconciled that with good play and making people enjoy the game,” he added.

Alves also talked about Mourinho’s comments on Barça’s Club World Cup victory in Japan. “He’s a person that plays his role, he devalues what other people win. The only thing that has value is what he wins. That’s his personality, and we respect it. Mine is different, however. To play these ‘small games,’ as he says, you have to win the Champions League. We have done that and that’s why we are happy. Envy is a bad thing.” He added, “we live in the moment, and we are the reigning world champions. The numbers are what they are, regardless of who that bothers.”

Alves continued: “We aren’t bothered by Madrid because we don’t feel like we are inferior to them, and if you don’t feel inferior to those that criticize you, it doesn’t bother you ... but I am bothered by their continual effort to discredit our accomplishments. There’s always a ‘but,’ or a ‘why.’ That’s the only thing I do not understand. But I understand that it’s an unwinnable war, we only try to compete well and make it difficult for others.”

Lastly, when asked about how he felt about a hypothetical move by Neymar to the team, Alves said, “he’s more than invited in this house ... if it were up to me I would have brought him already. He’s a player that would bring different qualities to the team, and I believe this is the best club for him to play his style of football.” (via FCBarcelona.cat)