Lionel Messi's former Barcelona teammate Dani Alves believes it is not the ideal time for Messi to quit his boyhood club after an illustrious career in Spain.
Speaking after helping Brazil retain their Olympic gold medal, Dani Alves expressed his sorrow at watching Lionel Messi walk out of Barcelona after almost 20 years at the club. Alves said:
“I am very sorry for Messi and Barça. Now is not a good time for either side. I think Barça will not be the same because Barça with Messi is one thing, and Barça without Messi is another."
Earlier this week Barcelona announced they won't be extending Lionel Messi's contract due to "financial obstacles" in La Liga regulations.
Dani Alves, however, is optimistic that both Barcelona and Lionel Messi will have great success in the new challenges that lie in front of them. Dani Alves added:
“But Barça will continue to be Barça and Messi will continue to be Messi. It’s a new challenge for Messi and for Barça, but I think challenges make you better most of the time, because they force you out of your comfort zone.”
Lionel Messi is now close to joining Dani Alves' former side Paris Saint-Germain on a free transfer. The six-time Ballon d'Or winner will reunite with another former teammate and friend in Neymar Jr at the Parc des Princes.
According to French outlet L’Equipe, Lionel Messi is also set to earn a monstrous €769,000-a-week at PSG which would see the 34-year-old forward pocket close to €40 million per annum.
Dani Alves joins former Barcelona teammate Lionel Messi as an Olympic champion
Dani Alves has also joined former Barcelona teammate Lionel Messi as an Olympic champion. The six-time Ballon d'Or winner won the gold medal with Argentina at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. Messi played alongside the likes of Sergio Agüero, Angel Di Maria and Javier Mascherano.
Dani Alves played every minute of Brazil's Olympic run at the age of 38, which saw the Selecao beat Spain 2-1 in the gold medal match. Goals from Hertha Berlin's Matheus Cunha and and former Barcelona forward Malcom helped Brazil retain the gold medal.