Barcelona FC club president, Joan Laporta has hinted at a possible return for PSG forward, Lionel Messi and the captain of Japanese League side Vissel Kobe, Andres Iniesta, following the return of veteran right-back, Dani Alves to the Camp Nou.
Barcelona signed the legendary Brazilian right-back on a deal that’ll see him spend the remainder of the season in the Camp Nou, with an option to extend for another full season. Over 10,000 fans were at the Camp Nou to witness his return to the club, where he had earlier spent eight trophy-laden seasons before moving on to Juventus, then Paris Saint-Germain, then São Paulo, before returning to the club where he made a name for himself.
Dani Alves has never hidden his love for the Catalan club and has expressed a desire to return on many occasions. His return was thanks to Xavi, who wanted to have Dani Alves’ experience back in the squad as he built a Barcelona of the future, according to President Laporta.
The 38-year-old Brazilian won’t be eligible to play for the club until January, however, but joins training with Xavi’s side immediately.
Laporta doesn’t rule out bringing the band back together
Laporta’s first tenure as Barcelona president saw a team with Dani Alves, Xavi Hernandez, Andres Iniesta and Lionel Messi as its core. He has now succeeded in bringing back two of them in his second tenure as president and hasn’t ruled out bringing the other two back to Camp Nou.
In an interview at the beginning of November with Sport, Lionel Messi discussed returning to the club in an off-field role. “I always said that I would love to help the club and be useful,” Messi said to Sport.
“I would love to be a sporting director at some point. I don’t know if it will be in Barcelona or not. Or if it will be something else. If there’s the chance, I would like to go back and contribute what I can because it’s the club I love and I would love them to keep doing well, growing and being one of the best in the world.”
Laporta, speaking at the presentation of Dani Alves at Camp Nou, said about a potential Messi and Iniesta return: “I don’t rule anything out. It happened with Dani, age is a number. They’re two great players. I can’t predict what will happen tomorrow, they’re still playing and contracted to other clubs. You never know.”
Xavi could be key to bringing Messi and Iniesta back
All four players have an excellent off-field relationship, just like they had on-field when they played together in the Blaugrana colours. This relationship could be key to reuniting the band, a feat that, if pulled off, could see Joan Laporta immortalised by Barcelona fans worldwide.
Andres Iniesta has already expressed a desire to return to Barcelona in an exclusive interview with BBC Sport, a sentiment he re-echoed after Xavi was appointed manager, per Sport.
While fans can continue to dream about having these legends back in Blaugrana colours, they can look forward to Dani Alves, who has declared that his time at Barcelona is not going to be a holiday.
“I wasn’t born to be second, I was always first. I’m here to fight, I’m not here to pass time or to live in Barcelona,” Alves said during his presentation. “I’ve come here to play and fight for a place. It’s not because I made history or because of my good relationship with Xavi. I’m going to fight and try to contribute. Age is just a number. I just proved it at the Olympics.”