Old Trafford

Next Game

Man Utd v Newcastle

Friday, 26 December 2014, 15:00

Barclays Prem

Villa Park

Last Game

A Villa 1 - 1 Man Utd

Saturday, 20 December 2014, 15:00

Barclays Prem

Alves hails Fabregas influence

Dani Alves has backed Cesc Fabregas to get back to his best for Barcelona this season - if he stays at the Nou Camp.

Last Updated: 07/08/13 at 11:16 Post Comment

Cesc Fabregas: Tipped for a good season by Alves

Cesc Fabregas: Tipped for a good season by Alves

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

Manchester United are reported to be preparing a third bid for Fabregas after having two offers rejected, although the Catalan side's sporting director Andoni Zubizarreta has indicated that the Premier League champions have now given up their pursuit of the former Arsenal captain.

Alves and his Barca team-mates hold the midfielder in high regard, and the Brazil wing-back would be "delighted" if the 26-year-old chose to remain with the Primera Division champions.

In an extensive and outspoken interview with Catalan radio station Rac1, Alves spoke about Fabregas while also discussing Thiago Alcantara, who left Barcelona - his boyhood club - earlier this summer to join former coach Pep Guardiola at Bayern Munich.

"I think that Thiago hurried a little, but I like that attitude because the worst thing you can do is remain comfortable," Alves said of the 23-year-old.

However, he said it was wrong to compare Thiago to Fabregas, who left Barca for Arsenal aged 16 only to return aged 24 after seven campaigns with the Gunners.

Alves explained: "Cesc's is a different case. He has already left here once. He left the club, made a name for himself and then returned. He wasn't at his best at the end of last season but we were all the same.

"Football is a collective sport and you cannot look for scapegoats. If he decides to stay here, I'll be delighted to continue having him as a team-mate. The squad respects him a lot."

He added: "It's up to him what he does, but I think he can bring a lot to this side. The team needs players of Cesc's quality to win trophies."

Alves also risked the wrath of the Barcelona board by declaring his bewilderment at the club's decision to release Eric Abidal at the end of last season.

This year the French left-back made a full recovery from a liver transplant he underwent to fight cancer, making five appearances towards the end of the season.

But the 33-year-old was not offered an extension to his contract, which expired in June, and has since joined Monaco on a free transfer.

Alves has given up his traditional shirt number of two for next season and will instead wear the 22 that used to belong to Abidal.

"I have taken the number 22 shirt because I love Abidal and I do not understand his situation," the South American said.

"It was an unpleasant surprise to find out that he wouldn't be continuing with us. Given the huge efforts he made and for all that he has been through, they should have handed him a new deal.

"Barca showed that they are more than just a club for what they did to help him recover. For him to then leave leaves a bit of a bitter taste. Now he has to look to his own future. I am sure that he will continue to be an example to everyone around him where he is now."

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

I

really enjoyed this. Thanks F365 for another year of work avoidance - happy Christmas.

megabrow (cufc)
Our Person Of The Year: Alan Pardew

I

m no Sam Fan and this article sums him up beautifully. I always like to imagine that when he watches anything on TV and hears clapping, he stands up and aknowledges the applause, thinking its for him!

cozens
Football Managers On TV: Sam Allardyce

N

ah, Fergie is just having another pop at Rooney. He just wants to put him down whenever he gets a chance. Rooney is by far the best English player. Carrick is not far behind, mind. However, by elevating Carrick like that, Sir is having a dig at Wayne. Fergie is well-known for mind games like that. Good to see he's still feisty.

timbo
Van Gaal will thrive - Ferguson

Footer 365

Premier League: Manchester City respond to Chelsea's victory by winning at West Brom

Manchester City won 3-1 at West Brom to reduce the gap on Chelsea back to three points at the top of the Premier League.

Premier League: Swansea City beat Aston Villa 1-0 at the Liberty Stadium

Gylfi Sigurdsson's sumptuous free-kick helped Swansea City to a 1-0 victory against Aston Villa at the Liberty Stadium.

Premier League: Wayne Rooney scores twice as Manchester United beat Newcastle 3-1

Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie were on target as Manchester United cruised past Newcastle 3-1 at Old Trafford.

Mail Box

Van Gaal's Half-Term Report Card...

One Man United fan isn't happy with the rate the team is progressing under Louis van Gaal, while the mailbox also wishes Liverpool fans a Merry Mid-Table Christmas...

Hang On, Rafa's Success Is No Fluke...

The afternoon mailbox kicks the morning mailbox's arse after claims that Rafa Benitez has fluked his success. Plus, big talk about Liverpool's progress and lots more...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property