Barcelona manager Xavi plans negotiations to bring Dani Alves back to the club

New Barcelona manager Xavi may be part of a sensational push to bring legendary defender Dani Alves back to the club.

The 38-year-old veteran has been a free agent since leaving Sao Paolo in September 2021. The decision came after a dispute over unpaid image rights, bringing an end to a two-year run whereby Alves returned to Brazil to play for the club he supported as a boy.

In the midst of that, Alves also became the oldest man to win a gold medal in the men’s football tournament at the Summer Olympics.

His fans have been questioning what his next move in the sport will be. Now, it appears as if we’re starting to get some answers.

What’s the proposal from Barcelona?

In a recent press conference, Barcelona president Joan Laporta made the following statement.

“He [Dani] is helping our club in many ways. He has also offered us help from a sporting perspective,” Laporta said.

As of this writing, there’s no official confirmation about whether his return would be in a playing role or a coaching one. 

Xavi and Laporta are interested in him providing “expertise” to the club’s blossoming youth system. However, he proved at the Olympics that he’s still capable of performing at a high level on the pitch.

Read: Why Xavi won’t be a Pep Guardiola regen as Barcelona boss

The term defensive mentor is doing the rounds, but the guessing game regarding the specifics is well underway.

Alves’ Barcelona days

Dani Alves enjoyed eight wonderful years at the Nou Camp between 2008 and 2016. In that time, he helped the club capture six La Ligas, four Copa del Reys and three Champions Leagues. He is one of the most decorated players in football history.

What would Alves bring to Barcelona upon returning?

Whether it be in a coaching or playing capacity, Alves brings experience like no other. He’s best known for being one of the world’s greatest right-backs during his prime, and yet, there’s so much more to his story.

Dani Alves mastered the art of being an attack-minded right-back. He was so impactful with his overlapping runs, stamina and box-to-box ability that he was often confused with being a winger. 

The Brazilian seemed to read the pattern of any given game with ease and did so through physicality, work rate and a surprisingly good record in front of goal.

He’s scored 66 times in his professional career, and it hasn’t always been from right-back. During stints with PSG and the aforementioned Sao Paolo, Alves occupied a central midfield role.

The modern era of the beautiful game often allows for diversity in how many positions one given player can claim. Alves knows what it takes to get up to that level. If Xavi and Laporta get this deal over the line, we could see the formation of a truly incredible player/coach run for the ex-Sevilla man.

Featured image credit: Getty