Dani Alves makes second Barcelona debut; rolls back the years with incredible performance

Dani Alves is finally ready to delight the Barcelona fan base once again after being successfully registered for Spanish and European competitions and making his second debut for the club.

The 38-year-old right back made his first appearance following his return to Barcelona after six years amassing trophies from all around the world in Barcelona’s Copa Del Rey tie away at Linares Deportivo.

Barcelona went into the tie as defending champions and were faced with an early exit after Linares scored through Hugo Diaz in the 19th minute.

The Catalans fought back in the second half to a 2-1 win courtesy of goals from Ousmane Dembele and Ferran Jutgla to progress into the round of 16.

Barca had several players out due to COVID-19 and injuries, but manager Xavi Hernandez’s makeshift side managed to leave Andalusia with their dignity intact, with Dani Alves playing a key role.

The 38-year-old Brazilian started the game as a winger to become the oldest player to feature for Barcelona in a competitive match, surpassing Jose Manuel Pinto by 54 days.

Dani Alves rolls back the years with incredible numbers

Fans were delighted by the return of Alves, who the club has failed to effectively replace since he left Camp Nou six years ago.

The former Sevilla man dropped a defensive and attacking masterclass to show the youngsters that he was not back in the side to ride along.

Dani Alves created seven chances for his teammates – three more than anyone else on the pitch for both clubs – including two big chances. Alves also completed the three dribbles he attempted while having a pass accuracy of 83%.

The veteran right-back also won three free-kicks and made three tackles while conceding only one foul.

Sergiño Dest is Barcelona’s only right back at the moment and is set for some competition with the veteran, who has also promised to help the young American become the best he can be while at the club.

Dest is currently the subject of transfer speculation as well and with Alves turning up the way he did, the American could be on his way out after just one full season at the Camp Nou.

Barcelona is a special gift, says Alves

Alves was happy to speak to the press after the game and waxed lyrical about how happy he was to be representing the Catalan giants again.

“I’m really happy. A film’s going through my mind. After everything that’s happened, to play another official game for Barcelona is such a special gift for me,” he said.

“I was enjoying myself playing with my teammates and competing alongside them. It’s a feeling that we represent. We need to instill this in the team. We know there are more surprises all the time in the Copa del Rey. We need to keep improving as a team.

“We need to have that spirit to compete, that spirit that we can do it. We need to be mentally strong. I think in the end coming through, the goals came for us, and that’s what we need.”

Alves could make his second LaLiga debut on Saturday with Dest still out due to injuries and COVID-19 complications.

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