Dani Alves thinks he has created an entirely new style of play this season


When you think of genuine trophy winners, it is difficult not to think of Brazilian star Dani Alves.

The defender’s long career is simply littered with silverware and his medal cabinet must be a pretty sturdy beast to hold out under the weight of his collection.

Included in his avalanche of honours while at Barcelona are six La Liga titles, five UEFA Champions Leagues and 5 Copa del Rey’s.

For an age, Alves was the best full-back on the planet and that position went largely unchallenged for years.

His long-term impact on the game can be seen in many a modern fullback playing today with the likes of Andrew Robertson and Trent Alexander Arnold bombing forward to contribute in attack.

Now having returned to South America with Sao Paulo, the 36-year-old has surprisingly been handed a role a much freer role, and his playing more as a midfielder than anything else.


In fact, while speaking with the Guardian, Alves claimed he has created an entirely new style of play.

“When I get involved, I help my teammates to become better. It’s been like that my whole career – at Bahia, Sevilla, Barcelona, Juventus and PSG.

“Those clubs have a history of having done that for a while. Here, the coach changes all the time and you’re always trying to adapt to the coach you have.

In my position in the middle I’m better for my teammates. I’ll be sincere, I created a new way of playing as a full-back.

Brazil v Peru - 2019 International Champions Cup

“No false modesty. I am always adapting to my teammates. If they’re wide, I’ll go into the middle. If they’re attacking, I’ll help with the control. If the ball’s on the other side, I tuck in.

“I play as a creative midfielder from the back.”

No false modesty indeed.

It is quite bold to go out and say that you have reinvented the game, but no one would begrudge Alves that claim.

At the ripe old age of the 36, a change of position might have been the last thing he expected, but he has taken it in his stride and is producing the goods.

Whoever said you can’t teach an old dog new tricks?

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