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Dani Alves: The Man Who Won It All, And Then Lost It

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Dani Alves is a legend in the football world. He is statistically the most accomplished and decorated football player of all time. Dani Alves has won 43 official titles in his career.  Nobody has ever won so many titles, and nobody ever will. The all conquering Dani Alves built an incredible resume in his career and in an instant, he has thrown it all away. He has been accused by a woman of sexual assault and is currently imprisoned. Let’s find out more about him.

Dani Alves: Rags To Riches To Rags

Dani Alves: Career Highlights

Coach José Carlos Queiroz, at the invitation of his friend Cláudio Carneiro, who took over Juazeiro Social Clube from 1998 to 2000, was the one who took Daniel Alves to Bahia, still 15 years old. Cláudio, who had become the club’s supervisor, said that he had an above average player in Juazeiro ‘s youth team” In the first training session I saw, I liked it and brought him from youth to professional.”

Bahia

Playing for Bahia, Daniel Alves was champion of the Copa do Nordeste in 2002.

At an event held in Salvador, in June 2009, for Bahia, Daniel Alves declared that he had a lot of respect and affection for Bahia, and also said that he wanted to end his career at the club.

Even with the short time he spent at Bahia (and, by extension, in national football), Daniel Alves was elected by visitors to UOL as the greatest right-back in the club’s history, ahead of the likes of Antonio Leone and Zanata.

Sevilla

At the start of the second half of 2002, Daniel was signed by Spanish side Sevilla, initially on a season-long loan.

At the end of the 2002–03 season, Daniel had played in ten games in La Liga and pleased Sevilla fans and managers with his excellent performances during his loan.

In December 2003, during his second season with the club from the city of Seville, he won the U-20 World Cup with the Brazilian national team. Daniel was one of the great highlights of the team, finishing as the third best player in the tournament.

In December 2006, Dani Alves signed a new contract with Sevilla. He ended the 2006–07 season successfully, with 47 appearances and five goals scored, appearing in all matches of the UEFA Cup, a tournament won by the club.

After a few years playing in Spain, he acquired Spanish nationality, which would exclude him from needing a work permit to play in any country in the European Union.

On August 1, 2007, in an interview with SporTV, Daniel said that he wanted to leave Sevilla and go to a big European club, reiterating, in May 2008, his desire to leave the club. He stated that he was flattered by Chelsea’s interest and that he would never turn down such an offer. Daniel also confirmed that his manager had gone to England some time ago to negotiate with the London club.

Sevilla ended up rejecting all bids, with two of them coming from Chelsea and one from Barcelona, ​​deeming them as “far underwhelming”. 

Barcelona

On July 2, 2008, Daniel Alves was signed by Barcelona on a four-year deal. The officially announced amount was 34 million euros, with a further 6 million euros depending on his performance during the following seasons. 

In the 2008–09 season, in his first match for the Catalan club, he soon took over the starting job, previously belonging to Gianluca Zambrotta, who had returned to Italian football, transferring to Milan. 

He made his official debut for Barcelona on August 13, 2008, against Wisła Kraków, in the first leg of the UEFA Champions League qualifiers, the tournament that ended with Barcelona winning the title. His debut in La Liga came in Barca’s first league game, against Numancia, on 31 August 2008. Due to a yellow card suspension, he did not feature in the final of the Champions League against Manchester United. Barca had a great performance by Xavi, Lionel Messi, and Samuel Eto’o and defeated the English club by 2–0, thus winning the triple crown of the 2008–09 season: Champions League, La Liga (Spanish Championship), and Copa del Rey. He also won the Spanish Super Cup and the UEFA Super Cup, beating Shakhtar Donetsk 1–0 in the final, with a goal by Pedro in extra time. Thus, in his first season for the Catalan club, Daniel Alves won all the competitions he played in.

At the start of the 2013–14 season, he changed his uniform number from 2 to 22 to honor former teammate Eric Abidal who had used it and left the club.

In the 2014–15 season, on September 17, against APOEL, for the UEFA Champions League, Daniel Alves completed 300 games for the Barcelona team.

As he approached the end of his contract with the club, in June 2015, the parties had still not reached an agreement. Daniel himself declared in an interview that he felt belittled by the leaders. However, on June 9, 2015, he renewed his contract with the Catalan club for two more seasons. In the 2015–16 season, Daniel stopped wearing the number 22 shirt and started using the number 6 shirt, used for more than a decade by Xavi Hernández. In June 2016, his departure from the club was confirmed.

Juventus

It was officially announced by Juventus on June 27, 2016, signing a contract valid until June 2018. He scored his first goal for the club on September 21, in the 4–0 defeat of Cagliari, in a game valid for the 5th round of Serie A.

On June 19, 2017, days after suffering a defeat by Real Madrid in the Champions League final and making controversial statements, it was announced that Daniel Alves would not be part of the squad of Velha Senhora. On June 29, Juventus officially announced the termination of the Brazilian side’s contract.

Paris Saint-Germain

On July 12, 2017, Daniel Alves signed for two seasons with Paris Saint-Germain.

In his first official match of the season, he scored one of the goals in Paris Saint-Germain’s victory over Monaco by 2–1, winning the title of the French Super Cup. Daniel Alves also scored the first in a 3–0 victory over Bayern Munich in the second round of the UEFA Champions League group stage. On November 22, he scored a great goal in the 7–1 defeat of Celtic, still in the group stage of the main European club competition.

In the classic against Lyon, on January 21, 2018, he caused controversy when he was expelled from the match for having offended the referee. Shortly after that game, the Brazilian was banned for three games without being able to play for PSG. 

After a match for the 2019 Copa América, he announced his departure from the team on June 23, through a social network.

São Paulo

On August 1, 2019, he agreed to return to Brazil and signed with São Paulo until 2022. His presentation was made at the Morumbi stadium, in front of 44 thousand fans. Idols from the club’s recent history, such as Hernanes, Kaká and Luís Fabiano were responsible for welcoming him.

He won his only title for the club in May 2021, the Campeonato Paulista. The first game of the final was played on 20 May, at Allianz Parque, and the teams drew 0–0. In the second game, held on the 23rd, at the Morumbi stadium, Daniel Alves did not play due to an injury. The winger was replaced by Igor Vinícius and São Paulo beat Palmeiras 2–0. 

On September 10, São Paulo announced in an official statement on social networks that Daniel Alves refused to return to the club after being in the Brazilian national team due to the debt of 11 million reais that the club owed him and that, therefore, the athlete was no longer part of the club’s squad. The club from São Paulo made a proposal to the side and its staff for the payment of the amount in installments before the first leg for the quarterfinals of the Copa do Brasil against Fortaleza, but the proposal was rejected. In all, the player wore the club’s shirt in 95 games, scoring 10 goals and providing 14 assists. His termination was officially announced by the club on 16 September. 

Return to Barcelona

He agreed to return to Barcelona, ​​the club where he is an idol, on November 12, 2021, signing until June 2022. The Brazilian was the first reinforcement of coach Xavi, his former teammate. Daniel Alves made his debut for the team on December 14, against Boca Juniors, in a game valid for the Copa Maradona, a friendly title created to honor the recently deceased Diego Armando Maradona. After the 1–1 draw in normal time, Boca won 4–2 on penalties. His re-debut in official matches was on January 5, 2022, in the 2–1 comeback victory against Linares, in a game valid for the Copa del Rey, with the Catalan club qualifying for the round of 16. 

His first goal after his return to the club was on February 23, in a 4–2 victory over Atlético Madrid in the 23rd round of La Liga. In addition to scoring Barça’s last goal of the match, Dani also provided an assist for Jordi Alba to open the scoring in the match and was sent off in the 68th minute after stepping on Yannick Carrasco, this being his first game at Camp Nou in his return. 

Pumas

Without a club since June, when he did not renew with Barcelona, ​​Daniel Alves was announced as a new signing for Pumas on July 21, 2022. He made his debut for the team on July 27, in a 1–1 draw with Mazatlán, valid for Liga MX.

His contract was terminated on January 20, 2023, with the Mexican club decided for just cause after his arrest amid an investigation of sexual violence in Spain.

How was Dani Alves’s childhood?

Born in Juazeiro, Bahia, Daniel had a poor childhood, in which, alongside his father Domingos Alves da Silva, he worked in the fields, planting tomatoes, onions, melons and garlic, setting traps to hunt birds and reinforcing the family’s diet. A football lover from an early age, the then-young boy improvised balls with plastic bags or old socks. 

Daniel even had a cameo in Sérgio Rezende’s film Guerra dos Canudos, from 1997. According to the lateral, in exchange for “food and five or ten reais a day”, he accepted to be an extra. The side considered the experience “very cool.” 

Who is Dani Alves married to?

Dani Alves was married to Dinora Santana from 2008-2011. He has two children with her. She was also his agent. In December 2009, the player revealed that he is a fan of São Paulo and would like to play for the São Paulo team, to later end his career at Bahia. In 2017, Dani Alves married model Joana Sanz. However, after the rape case allegations surfaced against Dani Alves in 2023 which led to his imprisonment, Joana Sanz separated from him. The couple isn’t officially divorced yet, but Sanz hasn’t shown any intention of getting back with Alves.

Who is Dani Alves’ musician brother?

Dani Alves has a brother named Ney Alves, who is a forró singer.

Did Dani Alves suffer from racial abuse?

On April 27, 2014, in a game against Villarreal, Dani Alves was the victim of a racist offense: a fan of the local team threw a banana towards the right-back. Alves ate the fruit in the middle of the game and continued the game normally. After the game, he commented on the incident with a good-humoured tone. However, Villareal went on to issue a lifetime ban on the fan. On social networks, Dani Alves’s teammates, Neymar and David Luiz launched a campaign with the following title: #SomosTodosMacacos, in repudiation of the racial abuse. In a matter of hours, the campaign gained several supporters – in addition to Neymar himself – such as striker Fred, presenter Luciano Huck, singer Ivete Sangalo and even the former president of Brazil, Dilma Rousseff.

Why was Dani Alves arrested?

On January 20, 2023, Daniel Alves was arrested in Spain after police received evidence on a sexual assault charge. The Spanish judge accepted the request of the Public Prosecutor’s Office and decreed the player’s preventive detention, without the right to pay bail. Shortly after the arrest, the winger had his contract terminated with the Mexican side, Pumas,

Accused of having raped a 23-year-old woman at the Sutton nightclub in Barcelona, ​​on December 30, 2022, Daniel initially stated that he did not even know her; however, he later admitted that he had had consensual relations with the woman in question.

Throughout the case proceeding, Dani Alves has changed his statement repeatedly. He initially denied ever meeting this woman. Then he presented himself as a victim and that she approached him, then he talked about how he tried to protect her in the club, eventually settling on having a consensual sexual relationship with her. As of now, Dani Alves is still incarcerated at the Brians 2 prison and recently scored a goal while playing for the prison team. 

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