Dani Alves is a footballer that isn’t afraid to say what he thinks. The Brazilian admitted this Thursday that the team “left the Bernabéu unhappy because of the circumstances of the game.” He added, “we didn’t take advantage of the chances we had and now the tie will be decided at the Camp Nou. It’s a marvelous opportunity for us. We deserved to win and return from Madrid with a better result.”

Alves isn’t surprised that Madrid are celebrating the draw more than FC Barcelona: “Barça are the team to beat. Everyone wants to play he game of their life against us. The only thing I’m concerned with is playing a good return leg and qualify for the final.”

Pushing the limits of fair play

Alves explained that since he arrived at Barça that “Real Madrid have always tried to play beyond the rules of the game.” He added, “we play football. I don’t think we can do anything in this regard.” Turning his focus specifically to yesterday’s match against Madrid, he said, “I still don’t understand how Cristiano Ronaldo wasn’t booked. If that play had been reversed I would have been given a red card. But, of course, it seems as though we can’t have a Clásico without Cristiano.”

In any event, Alves said that he’s “vaccinated” against that type of football and that “whatever happens on the pitch stays on the pitch, beyond dirty play or any attempt to provoke.”

Upset with racial abuse

Without specifically mentioning Wednesday’s match, the FC Barcelona defender confessed that he’s upset with the racial abuse he was subjected to: “I know that we’re fighting against this type of behaviour, but for me it’s a lost war. I’ve been playing in Spain for 10 years and it’s been going on since the first day.

“Drastic measures need to be taken. For example, clubs should be drastically penalized - something beyond [the current] 1,000 or 2,000 euro fine. We need to go further. In England this doesn’t happen and when it does, the penalty is exemplary,” explained Alves.

Confident in himself

Finally, the Brazilian said he never lost his self confidence: “all of the injuries that I’ve never had in my career hit me at the start of the season. I’ve always tried to be good enough to play for this team and I think I’m managing to do that well. I’m not too concerned with what people think of me. I’m doing what I enjoy and those that are close to me know how much this profession means to me.”

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