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Barcelona News: Dani Alves says Messi is "one untouchable person" and defends his former teammate

  • Dani Alves defends his friend and former teammate Lionel Messi and gives his take on who is responsible for Barcelona's failures
Modified 12 May 2019, 02:30 IST
Liverpool v Barcelona - UEFA Champions League Semi Final: Second Leg
Liverpool v Barcelona - UEFA Champions League Semi Final: Second Leg

What’s the story?

Dani Alves came into Lionel Messi's defense after Liverpool thrashed Barcelona out of the UEFA Champions League as the Catalans were bullied by the Reds at Anfield.

The former FC Barcelona defender said Messi is untouchable and not to blame for the debacle in England earlier this week and blames the board and management for their flawed transfer policies and also feels that Barcelona is not the team it used to be.

In case you didn’t know..

Alves plied his trade at Barcelona for eight years and built a lethal partnership with Messi as the Brazilian loved setting up the Argentine.

The heart of the matter

In a recent interview with ESPN, Alves came to his former teammate Lionel Messi's defense as Barcelona crumbled against Liverpool 4-0 in the second leg even after taking a commanding lead of 3-0 in the first leg as he went on to state:

"After the first leg, he was out of this world, an alien -- however you want to say it"
"But I still think the one untouchable person in football is Leo [Messi] because of what he brings to the game.
"Even if things don't turn out well, Leo's always fine. But this is a team sport and everyone has his responsibility. Cristiano [Ronaldo], Leo and Neymar get the cover when things go well for their teams, but they also have to be on the cover when things don't go well.
"They're not going to write a headline that says: 'Eliminated' with Dani on the cover. No, they are part of it too. So for better or for worse, they are the ones who will be on the cover.
"When it comes to football, I don't think you can speak badly of Messi."

Alves, when asked whether Barcelona had lost their style of play, had a different take on it and implied the transfer policies and board are to blame for it as he said

"I agree with that somewhat. When I see stories about how Barca are now buying players to market them, you can sense that they are changing their philosophy a bit. Barca were about developing players.
"They didn't change their style, they signed players for specific positions. Now the feeling is they make too many moves on the market. But I also think that criticism is opportunistic. It's easy to lecture after elimination. You know Barca still like to take care of the ball and make good passes."
"Their philosophy on the pitch isn't going to change. But it's changed a little when it comes to the market. That happens in football. If they would have won the Treble, nobody would have said anything. In the last 10, 11 years, Barca have won plenty of league titles, something that Real Madrid haven't done, but people defend [Real Madrid] because of their success in the Champions League.

What's next?

Barcelona would be looking to put this debacle behind them and move towards winning the Copa Del Rey as they face Valencia in the finals and would hope to go all the way next season in the UCL.

Published 12 May 2019, 02:30 IST
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