Dani Alves’ eight-year stay at Barcelona is coming to an end.
The club’s sporting director, Robert Fernandez confirmed on Thursday that the right-back has decided to leave the Camp Nou. He’s been strongly linked with a move to Serie A champions Juventus.
Alves, who won 23 trophies during his time in Catalonia, has penned an emotional letter to Barcelona fans in which he thanked them for making him feel loved.
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Though it’s goodbye for now, the Brazilian also confirmed that he will return to Barcelona one day “because I’m a culé.”
The La Liga champions aren’t short on talent at right-back, with Aleix Vidal expected to replace Alves in the starting line-up and the versatile Sergi Roberto also able to play in defence. They've also been linked with a move for Arsenal's highly-rated Spaniard Hector Bellerin.
But the 33-year-old will still be a big miss among supporters. An exit was inevitable, and at least Alves leaves a Spanish champion.
He wrote on Instagram: “In one month it will be eight years since my arrival at FC Barcelona. In July 2008, I joined this club and I took the kit in which I have lived the most important accomplishments of my career. From day one, from the first training under the orders of Pep Guardiola, until the last of this last season, I have had the fortune to passionately enjoy my football.
“I have dozens, hundreds, of images recorded in my mind of moments shared with you at the Camp Nou and on the streets of Barcelona… many goal celebrations, and happiness at winning titles. I am a privileged, honoured worker and footballer, whom life has allowed me to wear the shirt of the best club in the world in a prodigious decade for the quality of its players and coaches."
He continued: “I could mention one by one all the extraordinary people with whom I have had the pleasure of overcoming challenges and difficulties in the many ways that have been presented throughout this time, but I prefer to give them a set thanks, because in the Barcelona locker room there is no room for individuality: We all win, we all lose. And we work together. And pulling the ship, presidents, ‘misters’ (managers) coaching staff, club workers … all of them thank you very much because they have always rewarded my efforts with their trust and support.
“With this letter I just wanted to let you know that I made the decision to seek a new challenge in my career, because you have to know when the finish each stage at the correct time. And my point is this. I go, but I will return, because I’m a culé. Thanks for making me feel loved.”
Translation by 101GreatGoals.