Champions League 100 club: Dani Alves

Seasoned campaigner Dani Alves, once described as "the Messi of full-backs", is in focus this week.

©Getty Images

One of the most decorated players in UEFA Champions League history, Dani Alves is our latest centurion in focus. Now at Paris, the 35-year-old started his European journey at Sevilla and was a Juventus player before moving to the French capital in 2017, but it was with Barcelona that he truly made his name.

CHAMPIONS LEAGUE 100 CLUB

Appearances

Champions League 100 club: Dani Alves
Champions League 100 club: Dani Alves

Sevilla: 8
Barcelona: 80
Juventus: 12
Paris: 9
Total: 109

Best performance: winner (Barcelona, 2009*, 2011, 2015)

If you don't remember his early days ...

2011 final: Barcelona 3-1 Man. United
2011 final: Barcelona 3-1 Man. United

Alves started life as a winger, joining Sevilla in 2002, initially on loan, from Bahia in his native Brazil. He formed a formidable partnership with Jesús Navas down the right as the Andalusian club won back-to-back UEFA Europa League titles in 2006 and 2007, starring in both runs. He joined Barcelona in 2008 and the rest is history.

How he made it to 100 appearances

Alves scores a Champions League goal for Juventus
Alves scores a Champions League goal for Juventus©AFP/Getty Images

Alves made his UEFA Champions League debut in his last campaign at Sevilla, but the love affair really began the following season as an ever-present in Barça's run to the final – though he was suspended for the decider. Two years later there was no denying him a final win against Manchester United, and he repeated the feat in 2015 versus Juventus. Alves reached the decider again in 2017, this time with the Bianconeri.

His best moments

  • Alves took three UEFA Champions League titles with Barça. He wore the No22 shirt in 2013 in honour of friend Éric Abidal; Alves offered Frenchman part of his liver when Abidal revealed that he required a transplant.
2015 final: Barcelona 3-1 Juventus
2015 final: Barcelona 3-1 Juventus

  • Scored his first UEFA Champions League goal with a lovely looping header against Panathinaikos in 2010 – completing a one-two with Lionel Messi after characteristically finding himself up the pitch in attack.
  • Barcelona were stunned by Bayern in the semi-finals in 2014 but a fine individual display from Alves helped inspire a revenge win at the same stage 12 months later.

Alves and Messi share a hug
Alves and Messi share a hug©Getty Images
Alves and Neymar at Paris
Alves and Neymar at Paris©AFP/Getty Images

  • Juve signed Alves ahead of 2016/17. The Brazilian did not disappoint, a host of stellar performances in the knockout stage culminating in two excellent displays – incorporating two assists and a goal – against Monaco in the semi-finals. The final against Real Madrid proved a step too far.
  • On just his second UEFA Champions League appearance for Paris, with two minutes on the clock, Alves ran on to a Neymar pass and finished superbly to set his new employers on their way to a 3-0 defeat of Bayern.

What others said about him

"I've always been close to Dani Alves, ever since we started sharing the right-hand side together when I came into the first team. We've been close for a number of years, on and off the pitch, and we developed a strong rapport."
Lionel Messi, former Barcelona team-mate

"Dani is one of the best foreign signings the club has ever made – for performances; for everything he gave the club."
Andrés Iniesta, former Barcelona team-mate

"Dani is always cheerful, maybe a bit crazy compared to our culture. He always lives and trains at full speed so it was not easy to adapt to us when he joined, but technically he is just superior to most of players; he is the Messi of full-backs."
Giorgio Chiellini, former Juve team-mate

"With his spirit, his energy, his technical skill for passing and providing assists, he was awesome."
Thomas Tuchel, Paris coach, on playing Alves in midfield

In case you missed them ...

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*suspended for final

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