The official website for European football

Alves: Milan are practically family now

Published: Tuesday 5 November 2013, 20.59CET
Change is afoot at FC Barcelona this season but Daniel Alves says some things stay the same: the Spanish champions' will to win and the endless meetings with AC Milan.
by Dúnia Martín Hernández
from Barcelona
Alves: Milan are practically family now
Daniel Alves training ©AFP/Getty Images

Tournament statistics

BarcelonaMilan

Goals scored21
 
9
Possession (%)62
 
38
Total attempts144
 
73
on target94
 
40
off target50
 
33
blocked0
 
0
against woodwork1
 
2
Corners70
 
25
Offsides27
 
20
Yellow cards20
 
18
Red Cards0
1
Fouls committed114
 
108
Fouls suffered159
 
116
Passes8190
 
4057
completed6912
 
2982

Press kits

  • Match press kit (local language)
 
Published: Tuesday 5 November 2013, 20.59CET

Alves: Milan are practically family now

Change is afoot at FC Barcelona this season but Daniel Alves says some things stay the same: the Spanish champions' will to win and the endless meetings with AC Milan.

Daniel Alves says AC Milan are "practically family" for FC Barcelona after so many recent meetings – but warns that while the Blaugrana are evolving under Gerardo Martino, their will to win is unchanged.

"Every year we face each other at some stage," the full-back said. "Historically, Milan are a very big team and when a team has the history that they do, you have to respect them regardless of them not having the best time of it right now. They never seem to be having a great time of it when we meet, but they have always presented us with extremely tough challenges."

Barcelona have had the better of the sides' seven encounters over the past three seasons, recording three wins to the Rossoneri's one. Yet as the 1-1 draw in Milan a fortnight ago demonstrated, there is seldom much between them. "I don't expect things to be any different on Wednesday," added the Brazil defender. "I hope we are a bit more clinical in front of goal compared with matchday three, because I don't expect Milan to play any differently."

There are signs of evolution in the Barcelona ranks, though. Coach Martino arrived in the summer and a haul of ten clean sheets in 17 games in all competitions this term hints of growing defensive strength. It is, says Alves, a simple equation: "We know that when we don't concede there is a good probability we will win because of the quality we have up front. We are on the right path."

Such are the high standards Barça have set in recent campaigns, the fact they remain unbeaten this season has not warded off negativity from some commentators. The sanguine Alves dismisses the criticism as "part of the show". The 30-year-old added: "Perhaps we're not playing as well as in previous years but we have to focus on the present. We have an alternative style of play. Before we were more monotonous and it helped opponents; now we have variation and it is working well.

"The goal is to get better each game. I think the team are ready for everything. If in May we get to play finals, the team will be ready. The greatest thing about this side is that when they need to, they respond. The years go by but things have not changed – we still want to win and that philosophy will continue."

Last updated: 06/11/13 13.50CET

http://www.uefa.com/uefachampionsleague/season=2014/matches/round=2000479/match=2011814/prematch/focus/index.html#milan+practically+family

  • © 1998-2014 UEFA. All rights reserved.
  • The CHAMPIONS LEAGUE and UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE words, the UEFA Champions League logo and trophy and the UEFA Champions League Final logos are protected by trade marks and/or copyright of UEFA. No use for commercial purposes may be made of such trade marks. Use of UEFA.com signifies your agreement to the Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy.