Roman Abramovich failed in his bid to sign Dani Alves in 2007 but the Barcelona defender hasn’t ruled out a move to England in the future.
In fact, Alves has openly admitted his desire to play in the Premier League before he retires.
The 32-year-old is in his eighth season at the Catalan giants and still ranks as one of the finest right-backs in the world.
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And, given the quality of right-backs in England, he would be a hit at any of the big teams.
Speaking to the Daily Mail, Alves said: “I don't know when, but I would like to play there – to experience what I have seen so many times from the sofa at home.
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“The way the people experience football in England. The way there is a corner and it's cheered like it's a goal. I have always said that it was something that I wanted to do.”
Alves would be in for a massive shock if he were to leave Barcelona for Britain, and not just culturally.
Premier League's competitiveness would stun Alves
La Liga titles are the norm for the former Sevilla man - he’s won the Spanish league five times, and that number will reach six at the end of the current season - but this season has proven that the Premier League throws up more surprises than any other division in Europe.
To prove that point, no team has won England’s top division in back-to-back years since 2009. If Barcelona win La Liga - they have an eight-point lead, so it looks a foregone conclusion - it will be their sixth success in eight seasons.
Alves got a taste for the current standard of English football in Barcelona’s recent 2-0 win over Arsenal in the Champions League. The Gunners are currently the third-best team in the country but were outclassed by the Spanish champions at the Emirates Stadium.
Reunion with Pep?
He was Pep Guardiola’s first signing when the Spaniard became Barca boss in 2008 and, with Guardiola arriving at Manchester City in the summer, the Etihad Stadium would be the logical destination for Alves if he were to leave the Camp Nou.
But the World Cup winner dismissed any notion of a reunion with Guardiola, saying: “I don’t think he’d call me.”
Alves is full of respect for the Catalan, recently calling him a “football Einstein.”
“His secret is he gets you to see things differently," he told The Times, per Goal. “He is a football Einstein.
“[He will want] everything his way, and when you get to a place where they are going to allow that — because in England they respect that — it will be ideal for him.”
Even Guardiola would be foolish to turn down a player with 30 trophies to his name.