"I’ll always say what I think"
Faithful to his style, Dani Alves talked about some topics in an interview at FIFA's website. The full-back said he wants to retire in the club where he started his career: Bahía. He also confessed he won't keep working in the world of soccer because he doesn't like the atmosphere around. He also talked about the team and their performance:
"We’ve seen an incredible version of this team over the last five or six years and, when people thought we couldn’t keep it going, we’ve gone and done it again. That’s the kind of footballing stability you dream of having in your career. [...] It’s unique, incredible. For those who are genuinely passionate about football, Barça are worthy of admiration".
"The cameras are drawn to them because they’re great! But as I keep saying, football is a collective game, not just about the attackers. I’d use the example of a colleague of mine, [Javier] Mascherano, who had an incredible World Cup [Brazil 2014] and could have been in contention for the [tournament’s] best player award… But the thing is, those whose job it is to “break up” the play, don’t have the same media impact."
"In football, I’ve always been about adapting to what’s asked of me, to what my team-mates need from me. I’m a team player. At Barcelona we all think like that, and that’s the key to our success. The press are free to choose who to talk about, but nobody here is egotistical. It’s difficult to get so many stars together and for them all to stay humble, which is why we’ve got a team to take your hat off to."
Where will he retire?
"I’ve already promised that I’d end my career where I started it [at Bahia], as a way of thanking those who gave me the chance to make my name in football. I want to have a spell there before I retire, but one that’s enjoyable for me and for them too. I’ll be sure to stay in shape so that I can go back and not be a disappointment! [laughs]. The idea is for it to be fun for everybody involved, and then call it a day."
"I enjoy gastronomy, music and fashion, so I’ll end up involved in one of those three areas– or all three! They’re things I have a passion for, and I only do what I’m passionate about. [I feel that way about] football too, but it’s unlikely I’ll stay involved in it. There are a lot of things I don’t like about it, and I always go where I feel good and at home. I like energy to flow in a positive way, not in the direction of outside interests."
The world of soccer
"I don’t like a lot of what surrounds football (smiles). I like the sport itself, but there’s currently too much ‘tabloid-style' reporting around, and that takes a bit of the enjoyment out of the game. We’re always in the eye of the hurricane. By a certain type of press, we’re judged and pre-judged. It used to be what happened on the pitch that generated interest, now it’s what happens off it."
"I get a bit tired of it all. I enjoy talking about football much more, about what players do on the pitch. Players earn their wages, their livelihoods and their right to compete to win things out on the pitch and not off it. But then, when you express an opinion it’s frowned upon, because people are only capable of receiving praise – never criticism. Even if it’s your humble opinion, you know? But well, if I think something, whether it’ll go down well or badly, I’ll always say it. I’m a free man and free to give my opinion too."
"Is it true that when you were a boy you used to practise signing autographs?"
"Yes! [laughs] I knew that I’d commit myself to music or football, and either of those would need me to sign autographs. I didn’t expect things to turn out as well as they did, getting to play for a big club and for Brazil… My dreams were smaller than that, but everything turned out incredibly well."