Dani Alves has ramped up the pressure on Lionel Messi to one day return to Barcelona as he has insisted that the Camp Nou is the best place for the Argentine after he joined Paris Saint-Germain
Dani Alves has called on Lionel Messi to return to Barcelona and finish his career at the Camp Nou.
Things have not gone to plan for the Argentine since his high-profile summer transfer to Paris Saint-Germain from the Blaugrana – finding the net just once in Ligue 1 so far.
The two stars played alongside each other at the Catalan giants between 2008 and 2016, where they won an eye-catching 23 trophies together – just shy of three per season.
Upon his presentation at the club in November, both the Brazilian and club president Joan Laporta talked up the possibility of Messi one day returning to the club.
Laporta warned reporters not “not rule out” the possibility that Messi will once again play for Barca while Alves said he would “encourage” the forward, who has remained a close personal friend away from the pitch.
Messi has struggled with knee and hamstring issues this season and has recently recovered from Covid, which has ruled him out of recent matches.
Last month, former Barca star Luis Suarez claimed that his close friend and former teammate Messi was struggling to adjust to life in Paris, fuelling rumours of a return.
Alves told the Tot Costa program on Catalunya Radio, as per Diario Sport : “Messi is the best player in the history of football.
“It’s strange being here and not seeing him, not having him in the band.
“Sometimes things don’t happen as we dream them.
“I already told him that he is not going to be anywhere better here. The same thing he told me when I left.
“It would be great if Messi finished his career here.”
Alves made his second Barca debut in this month’s Copa del Rey win at Linares, while he also featured in the Spanish Supercopa loss against Real Madrid last week after providing an assist in the side’s La Liga draw at Granada.
“I knew that if I came, I could play,” he added.
“Because of what I do on a day-to-day basis, because I work to play and not to sunbathe.
“You can hesitate to sign a 38-year-old player, but not if his name is Alves, Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Ibrahimovic.”
Alves continued: “In my farewell I said that when I am here I am happy.
“Being part of the great history that Barça has, feeling these colours is what I want.
“If things have been good, you have to repeat them.
“Being here again is a gift that I am opening every day.
“I always fight for what I want. I wanted to return because I had not been able to say goodbye to Barca.
“I couldn’t say goodbye after eight years and 23 titles, I was left with the thorn of being able to return to say goodbye.
“Leave with joy and not with doubts, that they see me as a person who loves this club.”
Barca chief Laporta previously said of a future return to Barca for Messi: “It has happened with Dani, who has already said that age is just a number and has also made a significant financial effort to return.
“You are talking about two spectacular players, with Leo and Andres.
“I cannot predict the future, they are still playing.
“We will always keep them in mind, but at the moment they have current contracts with other clubs.
“You never know in life.”
Messi’s contract at the Parc des Princes runs through until the summer of 2023, by which stage he will have celebrated his 36th birthday.