The sight of Dani Alves comforting Neymar after the 25-year-old was reduced to tears by Barcelona’s defeat to Juventus in the Champions League in April will serve as one of the lasting images of the 2016-17 Champions League.
Juventus had just drawn 0-0 at the Camp Nou, securing a 3-0 aggregate win that sealed their place in the semi-finals, when Alves embraced his former teammate and compatriot.
It was a touching moment. Alves later revealed what he said to Neymar when asked by beIN Sports.
“I told him that that’s life, we had to face each other,” the 34-year-old said, per the Independent.
“I did not want to measure myself just on this, we have experienced these moments together and now we experience them apart so it is hard.”
Alves added: “We have to focus on our jobs, but the feeling is there.”
Juve vs Real Madrid
Juventus have gone on to reach the final of the competition after defeating Monaco 4-1 over two legs in the semis. They will take on Real Madrid in Saturday’s final in Cardiff eager to make up for the loss to Barcelona in the 2015 final.
It promises to be an enthralling battle. Cristiano Ronaldo versus Gianluigi Buffon. Sergio Ramos versus Paulo Dybala.
Cafu: Alves vs Marcelo will be a clash of the titans
One battle than Brazilian hero Cafu is looking forward to is Alves versus Marcelo down Juventus’ right side.
"It will be a clash of the titans. We are talking about the two best full-backs in the world at the moment," Cafu told DPA, via Marca.
"Dani Alves attacks a lot, but Marcelo does the same. Tactically, it will be very interesting and it will be fantastic for Brazilian football."
Alves has enjoyed a great season
The neutral is backing Juventus, purely to see Gigi Buffon lift the Champions League trophy for the first time in his career.
But there’s also plenty who would love to see Alves hoist the trophy on Saturday.
The Brazilian has enjoyed a remarkable season in Italy, and in particular in Europe.
The former Sevilla right-back provided two assists in Juve’s win in Monaco and then scored a stunner to make it 2-0 in the return leg.
So it’s been a season to remember for Alves. And it can get even better this weekend.
Alves has explained that incident before Barca vs Juventus
The right-back was spotted messing around with Barcelona’s bench when Juve played at the Camp Nou earlier in the year. The game had actually kicked off when Alves was still talking to his former teammates and coaches.
It was a hilarious moment, and now Alves has revealed what Barca’s bench said to him.
“When I had to play against Barca in the next round, it was a very weird feeling," Alves told The Players' Tribute. "Especially in the second leg at the Camp Nou, I felt like I was home again.
“Right before the match started, I went over to the Barca bench to say hello to my old friends, and they were saying, ‘Dani, come sit with us! We saved your seat!’”
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