Dani Alves says James Milner is the toughest opponent he's played
Barcelona's Dani Alves says Liverpool man James Milner is the most consistent and tough opponent he's played against. Having played against Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale and James Rodriguez on a regular level, the Barcelona full-back surprisingly picks Milner as the one who 'annoyed' him the most.
Alves has played Milner six times in the last couple of years when the Englishman was at Manchester City and they played Barcelona. He also played the current Liverpool man during international games between England and Brasil.
Speaking to The Times, Alves said, "I have faced many, but the most annoying was James Milner."
"He follows you forward and follows you backwards. It's very difficult because he attacks you and defends you, and then attacks you and defends you again."
Even though Alves – Barcelona's most successful athlete in the current first team – admits Milner's quality, he's got the better of the former Leeds man in four of the six matches they've played. Barcelona beat Manchester City in both the legs of their Champions League game last season and once the season before.
The only time Alves has lost to Milner is when England beat Brasil in February 2013 with the Three Lions claiming a 2-1 win over the Selecao.
Pep Guardiola is a 'football Einstein': Alves
The Brasilian also paid credit to his former manager, Pep Guardiola, who confirmed last month he was going to join James Milner's former club, Manchester City, and take over as the manager for the following three seasons.
Alves compared Guardiola to German scientist Albert Einstein and calls him a 'freak'.
"His secret is he gets you to see things differently," added Alves. "He is a football Einstein.
"For him it's a change and that's what he likes. Guardiola likes to move to places where he can make a revolution.
"I have no doubt that he is going to achieve it because he is a freak of football."