Just before the media began to question him, Dani Alves took the opportunity to express his support for the victims of the fires which have devastated parts of the Girona province: “I’d like to give my support for the people who have lost family and to those who are fighting the fire and let’s hope nobody else loses their lives”.
Dani Alves guaranteed that he is going into the new season: “with the same ambition and desire that he had when he joined the Club”, stressing that there is no greater motivation than: “playing in the best team in the world”, as well as confirming that the new coach had given him a vote of confidence: “Tito Vilanova has said he has confidence in me and I want to repay that”.
Alves reckons that after just missing out on another Champions League final and fighting for the league title right till the end last season, for the next season: “the big challenge is to stay competitive and put in a good season”. The hardest thing when you have reached such a high level is, according to Alves, “to keep playing at the same level. We need to be at 200%. We need to more careful about everything, because every mistake we make is put under the magnifying glass and with every season it becomes harder and harder”.
“We are all Barça”
After a week under Tito Vilanova, Alves reckons there have not been too many changes: “I think the only real change has been that Guardiola isn’t leading the sessions, Tito is –we are doing the same work, the same things. The boss has his ideas very clear and we will be trying to help him. This is down to all of us – we are all Barça and between us all we will try and make sure the fans continue to enjoy the way we play”.
The season officially gets under way with the two Spanish Super Cup games against Real Madrid, but Alves doesn’t think that the result will define the whole campaign: “I don’t think that these games will change anything. It is a good challenge for us and and an extra motivation to start a season like this. For our part, we will just try and do what we have always done against them in previous seasons. We want to enjoy it and win, but if we can’t do it, at the very least we will give a good showing”.
Puyol’s return and the arrival of Jordi Alba
Alves was also happy at the return of Carles Puyol this Monday and believes: “there’s no need to talk about him being rested or his age”. He also reckons the signing of Jordi Alba: “is a great addition, he’s a top level player and I hope he brings all his quality to help us win titles”.
On the other hand, Alves explained that he would have been happier if the Club had publically denied rumours surrounding other club’s bids for him: “it’s true that there were rumours that I’d not be staying at Barça and I was upset that the Club didn’t intervene, but I am above that sort of thing and if the time comes when the Club decide they don’t need me, I’ll just have to accept it, though I would like to leave in the same way that I joined- I’d like to think that when I leave, I’d want to feel that I’ve left my mark, however small it is”.