They did some extraordinary things on the right-flank during their time together at Barca.
They formed an instant connection when Alves joined the club in 2008 and they flourished right up until the Brazilian left in 2016.
No one knows Messi better than Alves – not even Pep Guardiola.
In 2019, Alves told a story of how he disobeyed Guardiola’s orders in order to get the best out of the Argentine.
Guardiola didn’t like Alves passing to Messi from right-back to right-wing and used to get angry with Alves.
Alves fought his corner and eventually managed to convince Guardiola that what he was doing was the right thing.
A video of Alves telling the story has re-emerged and you can view it below…
One of my favorite ever Messi quotes. Dani knew Messi so well.— Marc Geschwind (@MarcGeschwind) May 17, 2022
The ones who get on best with Messi are the ones who just force it to him constantly, knowing he’ll almost always do something great with the ball regardless of where he is.
“Pep hates these full-back to winger passes because they don’t offer progression,” he told Globo Esporte, per the Daily Mail.
He continued, per Sport: “But I used to do them with Messi a lot and he’d be annoyed.
“One day I told him: ‘I don’t accept your complaints. If Messi doesn’t touch the ball for two minutes, he disconnects from the match. If we’re going to prepare a style which defines our play, he always needs to be connected to it. Then he can link up with the rest of us.’ Pep told me: ‘You’re right.’ These type of players always need to be on the ball.”
He added: “The team needs to play to Messi’s strengths, just as it does for Cristiano. The same way the team needs to play to Neymar’s strengths. They are different players. When you involve them more, the more they produce.”
No one knows Messi better than Alves. He knew exactly how to get the best out of the Argentine and that’s exactly why they thrived together.
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