'Dani', a Parisian magician!
Over the last 15 years, he has built a reputation in Europe, tempered at the highest level with grit and determination as his credo: yes, Daniel Alves is a master. The man from Juazeiro, in the Brazilian state of Salvador de Bahia, has a story and a trajectory that match his personality: out of the ordinary. Brought up on the 'Jogo Bonito' Daniel Alves Da Silva began his rise at the age of 18, in Bahia. His expressed his precocious talent (25 matches) and drew the attention of FC Sevilla, who signed him in 2002. His European adventure began in Andalusia and quickly reached fever pitch.
First as a promising youngster and then as one of the driving forces behind Sevilla's first golden age (a no-questions-asked starter as of season 2003-2004), he won two consecutive UEFA Cups (the Europa League's predecessor, in 2006 and 2007). On the right flank, he built a name as the defender who liked to get forward… His immense work rate and powerful performances earned him a call-up to the Brazil team, at the end of 2006, and he set about filling the large boots of a certain Cafu in the yellow jersey emblazoned with five World Cup stars.
After six years of growth at Sevilla (249 appearances) Alves took the next step by signing for Barça in 2008. In Catalonia, his attacking style fitted in perfectly with the blaugrana philosophy. Alves became the global benchmark in his position and played a key role in the Catalan side's domination of Spain and Europe. In the Barcelona shirt, the Brazilian won 23 titles in eight seasons - including three UEFA Champions League trophies (in 2009, 2011 and 2015). He also won a host of individual honours (named six times in FIA's All-star team) and left an indelible mark on the club by the time he chose to move on, in the summer of 2016. After years of linking up sublimely with Leo Messi, Daniel Alves was inducted in to the club's Hall of Fame as the club's second-most capped foreigner (391 matches at an average of 49 per season!). At the Nou Camp, he will always be known as The Tarantula.
In June 2016, he headed to Turin for a new challenge. As a Bianconero, Dani changed nothing of his philosophy and terrorized Seria A defences with his incursions, crosses and cannonball shots. And, as has always been the case wherever Dani has gone, Juventus hit their straps and won the league and cup double. On 3 June, he was a no-brainer starter in the Champions League final, but La Vecchia Signora fell to Real Madrid (1-4). After 28 appearances and a raft of tributes from Italian football experts, it was time for a new challenge...
And the only real option for the Brazilian giant was to come to Paris! A nice coincidence: just after earning his 100th cap for Brazil (seven goals), Dani the new Parisian will hook up with international teammates Thiago Silva, Marquinhos and Lucas in the French capital, as well as brushing shoulders with Maxwell, his former Barça teammate. He has almost 700 professional matches under his belt, 145 of which have come in the Champions League - exactly where Paris are looking to up their game. At 34 years of age, the tireless worker is still the uncontested benchmark on the right flank. A phenomenon on the pitch as well as off it. Over 30 million fans follow him on social media, where he shares his 'good vibes'. Recently on FIFA's website, the man in question claimed: "I need to be surrounded with positive energy. I'm a strong believer in energy. For me, the pitch reflects the man." Just so he can be sure: the Parc is ready to welcome him with panache! Bem-vindo Dani!