Alves admits he returned to Barca because they hit ‘rock bottom’

Jason Soutar
Dani Alves being presented as a Barcelona player

Dani Alves admits he returned to FC Barcelona because the club hit “rock bottom” following Lionel Messi’s summer departure.

Messi left Barca for Paris Saint-Germain following the expiry of his contract at the Nou Camp.

The Argentine superstar was poised to sign a new deal before “financial and structural obstacles” prevented him from doing so.

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The forward spent his entire career with the Spanish giants before the move, winning the Ballon d’Or on six separate occasions whilst at the Catalan club.

Messi won his seventh Ballon d’Or earlier this week after another superb year in which he won his first trophy with Argentina.

Alves, on the other hand, formed a legendary partnership with Messi on the right-hand side whilst at Barca.

Last month, the Brazil icon returned to the La Liga giants after the appointment of former team-mate Xavi as manager.

And the 38-year-old has opened up on his decision to come back, saying the club “needed” him after hitting “rock bottom”.

“When you see that the biggest player in the history of the club has just left, you realise that the club have hit rock bottom,” Alves explained.

“So, we [Alves and Xavi] decided to come back… and for me it was very easy to return because the club needed me.”

Elsewhere, Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta believes Man Utd’s appointment of Ralf Rangnick as interim boss is “really interesting”.

The Gunners take on United at Old Trafford on Thursday evening, in what Arteta has described as a ‘trickier game than usual.’

Arsenal’s opponents sacked Ole Gunnar Solskjaer last month and on Monday appointed Rangnick as interim boss until the end of the campaign, but he will not be in the dugout for Thursday’s fixture.

Arteta said of the new Red Devils boss: “He has been one of top coaches and, in every involvement he has had in game, not just coaching, he has made some radical changes in areas so he is a really interesting person in the football world and a really interesting appointment.”