Dani Alves: Barca’s decision not to re-sign Abidal leaves a bitter taste
Barcelona defender, Dani Alves recently admitted his bewilderment at the club not offering Eric Abidal a renewed contract, as well as his thoughts on Cesc Fabregas and Thiago Alcantara’s transfer to Bayern Munich.
In an extensive interview with Catalan radio station Rac1, the outspoken Brazilian stated that he couldn’t understand the decision to release Abidal who made a full recovery from a liver transplant he underwent to fight cancer.
Abidal went on to make five appearances towards the end of the season and joined French side Monaco after his contract expired.
Alves, who will wear the number 22 shirt that used to belong to Abidal this season as a tribute to the Frenchman, is angered by the board’s decision.
“I have taken the number 22 shirt because I love Abidal and I do not understand his situation.
“It was an unpleasant surprise to find out that he wouldn’t be continuing with us. Given the huge efforts he made and for all that he has been through, they should have handed him a new deal.
“Barca showed that they are more than just a club for what they did to help him recover. For him to then leave leaves a bit of a bitter taste. Now he has to look to his own future. I am sure that he will continue to be an example to everyone around him where he is now.”
The South American went on to back Cesc Fabregas to bring his best form back to the Camp Nou this season.
The midfielder has been the subject of two failed bids from Manchester United and has yet to indicate whether he would prefer a move back to England.
However, Alves thinks a player of Fabregas’s calibre is needed to win silverware and insisted the Barca squad hopes that the Spaniard chooses to stay with the Primera Division champions,
“He wasn’t at his best at the end of last season but we were all the same.
“Football is a collective sport and you cannot look for scapegoats. If he decides to stay here, I’ll be delighted to continue having him as a team-mate. The squad respects him a lot.
“It’s up to him what he does, but I think he can bring a lot to this side. The team needs players of Cesc’s quality to win trophies.”
The 30-year-old also had his say on Thiago Alcantara’s switch to Champions League winners Bayern Munich.
Thiago came through the club’s academy, La Masia, but opted for a move to Germany this summer to link up with former boss Pep Guardiola but Alves thinks the 23-year-old may have been to hasty with the decision to quit La Liga,
“I think that Thiago hurried a little, but I like that attitude because the worst thing you can do is remain comfortable.”
Fellow Brazil international Neymar joined the club this summer and Alves doesn’t think there will be any problems with the youngster and Lionel Messi but he warned his compatriot that the Argentine is still “top dog”,
“People are getting all worked up over the relationship between Messi and Neymar, but they’re two great guys, so who’s to say they are going to have any problems.
“Messi has earned all the recognition and respect he gets and has become a role model with his work ethic. The kid has four Ballons d’Or.
“Before it was Ronaldinho who dictated the way Barça played, now it’s Messi. You can’t come to Barça and expect to be top dog.”