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The Brazilian freely admits that the Blaugrana are not playing their 'best football' but he is of the opinion that they have added an extra dimension to their play this season

Dani Alves believes that while Barcelona are less spectacular than they have been in recent seasons, they are now more solid at the back.

The Blaugrana has made a record-breaking start to its Liga campaign, winning 10 of their opening 11 games, but there has been noticeably less emphasis on Tiki-Taka and slightly more focus placed upon direct football and defensive responsibilities.

Alves, for his part, believes the subtle change in philosophy brought in by new coach Gerardo Martino is a positive, as the right back feels it has brought greater variety to Barca's play.

"Statistically, we're doing a spectacular job, but we're not playing our best football compared to past years," the Brazilian said. "But we're on the right track. If we don't concede goals, our chances of winning are higher.

"In life and in football you always have to try to improve. We have alternatives to our play. But our overall philosophy hasn't changed. Our foundation is the same."

Alves was speaking ahead of Wednesday's eagerly-awaited Champions League clash with AC Milan, a side the Catalans ran into in both the group and knockout stages last season.

"Milan are almost like family," the 30-year-old defender joked. "We've faced them many times. Historically, they are a great team."

Barca know that a victory over Milan will seal its place in the last 16 of this year's tournament.

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