Dani Alves rejoins FC Barcelona

Legendary defender Dani Alves has completed a shock return to FC Barcelona and becomes the first signing under new head coach Xavi Hernandez, the club announced on Friday.

The Brazil international had been a free agent since leaving Sao Paulo in September.

A club statement revealed the 38 year old will join training from next week but will not be eligible to play until January.

The Catalan press had previously reported that Barca were reluctant to bring Alves back, but the return of Xavi, who was appointed as manger last week following the sacking of Ronald Koeman, caused a change of opinion.

Alves and Xavi developed a strong bond as teammates between 2008 and 2015.

Alves joined Barca from Sevilla in 2008 and won 23 trophies during a glittering eight years at the club making 391 official appearances and scoring 23 goals. Alves departed Barca in 2016 to join Juventus where he won two titles.

Although his main role has always been in defence, in the true Brazilian wing-back tradition, Alves also likes to join the attack, where he has a fine shot from outside the area, earning him the reputation as one of the finest players of all time in his position. He was an automatic choice under Barca coaches Pep Guardiola, Tito Vilanova, Tata Martino and Luis Enrique, and became a fan favourite for his dedication and extroverted character.

He later had a spell with Paris Saint-Germain before leaving in 2019 to spend two years with Sao Paulo.

With the World Cup around the corner in Qatar next year, Alves, who won an Olympic gold medal with his country this past summer, is keen to find top-level football in a bid to make Tite’s squad for the tournament.

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