When Daniel Alves joined Barcelona from Sevilla last summer, there were some who questioned the hefty price paid by the Catalan side for the player. After all, the Brazilian was still a youngster, and had not totally proven himself at the back, despite his obvious talents going forward.
Nevertheless, this season, he has been one of the most important players for Barcelona, and today, he told Marca that he always knew it was the perfect club for him.
"[People doubted] where I was going, if my family would be well, if I would be able to adapt my style of play to that of the team. But when Barça arrived, a team that played the football like no-one else, even though they were in a bad stage, I had no doubts," he mused
" It was rare to see Barça not winning anything. I knew that this was the perfect team for me: I wanted to come to Barcelona and not to any other team."
Certainly Alves and the rest of his team-mates have impressed this season, and are the current run-away leaders in La Liga.
The defender compared the style of the side to that in the Brazilian national team, which he is also a part of.
"It is a wonder to see the team play, a spectacle, something that I have only seen with the Brazilian national team," he declared.
Along with players like Alves, Barcelona have also been indebted to their new coach, Pep Guardiola, and the Brazilian paid his dues today.
"He treats everyone the same, whether you are new or very good. He has arrived with very positive concepts for a team that wants to win the title," he began.
"That is the key of my adaptation, with some ideas to improve, and a little more. I feel at home, thanks to the confidence that the coach has given me.
"I have seen very notable improvements. Once one starts learning about team-mates and the coach, you begin to contribute things that at the beginning you did not consider important, but then you realise they are. Above all, I have learned a lot tactically, to play without the ball."
The Brazilian also revealed part of their tactic down the right side of the pitch, acknowledging that it is all a matter of space.
"If the opponent is alert of Messi of Xavi, I should take advantage of the spaces. We always know how to play with that, with the space that the opponent gives," he concluded.
James Walker-Roberts, Goal.com