Dani Alves with FIFA Ballon d'Or of Lionel Messi / FOTO: MIGUEL RUIZ - FCB

Dani Alves features in an interview on FIFA.com this Monday. The Brazilian is one of five Barça players in the FIFA 2012 World XI and explained how proud he was to be voted as part of that team: “it comes from people who know the job and how difficult it is. They know what they’re talking about and that’s what makes it special and I know very well that there are a lot of players who could be here in my place. That’s why I feel so privileged”. Alves also admitted: “obviously, it’s easier to pick up individual awards when you play for a great side in a team sport”.

And Alves is clear that he certainly is part of a great team: “(the Club) has got values that virtually no other club has, and that’s what makes it unique. Every one of us in this Barcelona side today should feel privileged. Playing for this club is good for your health, good for everything, and you really find out what human, footballing and competitive values are all about. It’s the best club and the best team in the world, without question”.

Success comes from years of hard work

Alves went on to explain his sensations when he joined the Club: “I thought it was strange that they didn’t sign players on the strength of their reputation or how famous they are. They do the opposite. When they sign someone they think about where he’d fit in the side and the job he can do. And when you’ve got foundations like that you’re only going to grow as a team. It’s not something you can do in a couple of days. It takes years and years and years. If you look at the signings they make, they just buy what they need. The rest of the players are all from the youth set-up. They made a commitment to it and the results are there. We’ve got two team-mates fighting it out for the Ballon d’Or, which just goes to show the quality that’s there, and all without spending astronomical amounts on players”.

Asked if he’d encouraged his fellow Brazilian Neymar to join Barça, Alves replied: “Yes, you bet. I’ve been at it for ages! When the rumours of him making a move to Europe started I told him he should come to Barcelona. It’s more than a club. The motto says it all: they look after you, they pamper you and they always treat you and your family well”.

Excited about Brazil’s World Cup chances

Alves and Neymar will almost certainly be part of Brazil’s attempt to take the World Cup which they host next year and Alves admitted there’ll be plenty of pressure on the team to perform in front of their home fans: “It’s true that we’ve got some young players, but they’ve got experience and they’ve won things with their clubs. To my mind the kick you get out of playing for your country in such big competitions more than makes up for any problems it might involve. We’re excited about it more than anything else”.

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