The journey of Dani Alves returning to Barcelona has to be due to his former teammate and now manager Xavi wanting to have experience that he can rely on at the club.

If you look at Barca, it’s a team that needs to be rebuilt, and it looks like the young generation is going to be instrumental in that rebuilding process, with players like Fati and Pedri coming into the first team. These players have all the talent, but what they lack is experience, which is why a player like Dani is so important for the team.

I had the pleasure to be around Dani for a couple of days in Boston attending a study at Harvard that could enhance both of us, as well as some top athletes and great media-oriented people that wanted to learn more from a great professor called Anita Elberse.

I had a great time, seeing how it was for a top athlete that is still playing the beautiful game and wanted to enhance his intelligence regarding more than just football. We talked a lot about that in person because we would otherwise probably never have the possibility of meeting and having so much time to talk with the group.

Just going back to his moment of rejoining Barca is great and I congratulate him in doing so because I can tell you there are a lot of players that would love to be in that situation. He has won so much as a player, with 43 trophies to his name over his 20-year career, making him the most decorated footballer of all time. 

That is a record that any footballer would give almost anything for, and those trophies include three Champions League titles that he won with Barcelona. Alves has won trophies at every club he has played at, starting back home in Brazil with Bahia before he moved to Spain to play for Sevilla. It wasn’t long until he was at Barcelona and has since had spells at Juventus and PSG, before making his move back to Barca.

And after all of that he keeps on reaching new levels. If you asked me would I like to see him add more to his cabinet and cap off his career with glory I would say, yes of course because it’s always nice to see people do great things, but when you meet them personally you have a better understanding of who they are. I had some good laughs with Dani and I could see his character away from the game where he seemed so relaxed, but you could tell that he could switch it on when it would be necessary.

There will be a lot of eyes focused on him when he puts that famous blue and red jersey back on, so it won’t be an easy journey for him to get back to his normal winning ways. But he definitely has picked a challenge that could be a tough one, but at the age of 38 it is super exciting to watch him find a dream that makes him get up and try his best again. #mmlove