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‘The best place ever’ – Alves urges Messi to stay at Barcelona
What has been said?
Alves spent eight years at Barcelona and does not want Messi to experience the same regrets he had upon his departure in 2016.
“I have said to Messi several times: he was born to be a Barcelona player and Barcelona were born to be his club,” Alves told the Guardian. “He has given me advice before so I can do the same to him. Once he told me to stay in Barcelona because there wasn’t any place that was better. ‘Where will you be happier?’ he asked me. So I stayed.
“Now I have reminded him of that conversation and that a good friend (him) advised me that Barcelona is the best place ever. I haven’t had an answer from him yet but when you leave Barcelona you realise how good it is. All the players, and I mean everyone, who has left Barcelona have been sorry. All of them regret leaving, irrespective of the reason.
“When I left the club, I just wanted to show my value to get back. But, unfortunately, the same people who were against me when I was at the club stayed there. I showed that I was able to play for Barcelona for another 10 years. I tried to go back to Barcelona. I wanted to go back to Barcelona. I played to go back to Barcelona, but they didn’t want me anymore.”
World Cup dream still burns
At 37, Alves is still performing to a high level in his native Brazil with Sao Paulo, and he has his sights trained on making the squad for the 2022 World Cup.
“The World Cup is a dream that I won’t give up,” Alves said. “I will fight to keep myself at a high level and to have this last experience with my national squad. This is my challenge.
“It’s no use just dreaming. I will compete. Now it’s time to work and to build. What motivates me are competition and my dreams. As long as I am alive I will fight for my dreams.”