Barcelona chiefs will be kicking themselves after Juventus booked their place in the Champions League final last night.
Not just because it was Juve who knocked the Blaugrana out of the competition, but because of the man who played a major part in the Italian club’s progression to next month’s final in Cardiff.
Juventus defeated AS Monaco 4-1 on aggregate and Dani Alves was involved in every single goal. He assisted the first three and scored the fourth, capping off a memorable semi-final for the Brazilian with a brilliant volley.
Barcelona let Alves leave the Camp Nou on a free last year. It looked like a bizarre piece of business at the time; now it looks completely foolish.
After the game, the 34-year-old said his hard work and preparation has allowed him to continue to play at such a high level for so long.
"Am I surprised to be at my best level? I work a lot, I live the game with a lot of intensity and love," Alves told Mega, via Goal.
"Everything I am in my life is the result of my daily work, my professionalism, and in the end I am collecting the fruit of the daily work that you do not see.
"People think I'm crazy, but when it comes to work I know what I have to do."
Alves struggled early in Juve career
Juventus fans have had to wait to see Alves hit his peak, though. The right-back struggled to adjust to Italian football and his acclimation was stunted when he fractured his leg in December.
"At first it cost me, but here there is a different way of seeing football," he added.
"When I was adapting, I got the injury, maybe to take it easy, reinvent myself in this club.
"I had to adapt to the team, the philosophy of the club. I'm here, making my team enjoy it, enjoying myself."
Video: Alves' goal vs Monaco
Alves booked Juventus’ place in the final with a brilliant volley just before half-time.
While the goal was good, the celebration was worth talking about, too.
Alves' celebration in full
Alves ran all the way back into his own half before producing a love heat with his hands, Gareth Bale style.
And while TV cameras cut away, the celebrations didn’t end there.
Gianluigi Buffon and Claudio Marchisio ran over to hug the ecstatic right-back, who then paused for a moment with his hands on his hips.
Alves then sauntered back into position as play restarted with a casual, slouched walk. Check it out below.
Watch: The part of Alves' celebration fans might've missed
Is Dani Alves the best RB in the world? Let us know in the comments section below!
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