Alves aims to bring back glory days to Barca with passionate first day speech

Dani Alves delivered a rousing speech telling his new Barcelona team-mates to achieve “great things” after sealing a shock return to the club last week.

The 38-year-old had been searching for a new club as a free agent after leaving Sao Paulo in his native Brazil in the summer.

But after Barca legend Xavi Hernandez was appointed as the club’s new coach following the sacking of Ronald Koeman, the Spaniard’s first move was to bring Alves back to the club.

He has penned an 18-month deal with a reported salary of just €1-a-week and performance-related bonuses, making him arguably the lowest-earning footballer in Europe's top five leagues.

And Alves has wasted no time in getting acquainted with his new colleagues, delivering an inspirational speech in the dressing room.

While players such as Pedri, Memphis Depay and Frenkie de Jong were all away on international duty, Alves spoke in front of the Barca squad with his new boss Xavi also present.

"It is a pleasure to be here after such a long time," Alves said, as quoted by Mundo Deportivo.

“To return here is an honour, a pleasure.

"To be able to share with you again. I come to learn from you, now the new world.

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“But from the old one, I want to convey one thing: to know what it represents this club and this shirt.

"I have been abroad and this is the best place to do great things, to live. You are here, value it because there is nothing better outside.

“I insist that it is a pleasure to be here with you. Come on, I want to do great things because this club is made of this: doing great things.”

The defender left the club on bad terms back in 2016 when he moved to Juventus on a free transfer, having failed to reach an agreement on a new contract with the club’s previous board.

But five years after departing Camp Nou, the experienced full-back has expressed his delight at securing a move to rejoin the Catalan giants.

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He was handed a round of applause by his team-mates, with Ousmane Dembele and Samuel Umtiti amongst those present.

Alves then took the opportunity to catch up with his old friends Sergi Roberto and Sergio Busquets, two of the club’s longest-serving players after graduating from the club’s La Masia academy.

Alves also linked up with his former team-mate Jordi Alba in the changing room, with the 32-year-old no longer required on international duty with Spain.

However, the club he left is very different to the one he is joining after the departure of several stars, most notably Lionel Messi and Neymar.

The club are languishing in eighth in LaLiga and are currently eight points behind leaders Real Sociedad after a poor start to the campaign under Koeman.

Still, it appears Alves’ desire to achieve success is still burning strong and his experience will no doubt serve as a useful resource for young players such as teenage duo Pedri and Gavi.

The veteran Brazilian became one of the most decorated footballers in history in his eight years spent with the Blaugrana, winning 23 trophies in his 394 appearances.

That trophy haul included six LaLiga titles and three Champions League winners’ medals.

He was often regarded as one of the key factors in helping Lionel Messi reach the top of his game and constantly topped LaLiga’s assists charts, such was their telepathic relationship on the pitch.

But with Messi now in Paris, it will be down to Alves to inspire the next generation of Barca stars.

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