Dani Alves has offered to throw open the doors at Barcelona if Lionel Messi wishes to retrace his steps to Camp Nou, with a Brazilian defender that has already made an emotional return of his own to La Liga heavyweights inviting a former team-mate back for one “last dance”.
A seven-time Ballon d’Or winner severed career-long ties with the Blaugrana during the summer of 2021 as much-publicised financial struggles led to him leaving for Paris Saint-Germain as a free agent.
Things have not played out as planned for Messi in France, with whistles aimed in his direction by disgruntled supporters at times, and Alves has once again called on a fellow South American to reunite with him in Spain for one final shot at major silverware.
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What has been said?
Alves has told Sport when asked if he would like to have Argentine icon Messi back alongside him: “I don’t know what he thinks or wants to do.
“He could come back for a little year with me for a 'last dance'. Why not?
“There’s nowhere better than here. We cannot be better off than at Barça. He left and tried the experience. It’s time to return home if he wants.”
Will Alves be sticking around?
While calling on Messi to make a move to Barca in the summer of 2022, there are no guarantees that Alves will be sticking around at Camp Nou.
His short-term contract, which brought him back to familiar surroundings after five years spent elsewhere, is due to expire this summer and no extension has been discussed as yet.
Pressed on whether he will be pushing for fresh terms, Alves said: “No. I'm going to do the same as in my first spell: fight until the end.
“When I'm on a mission, I give myself to it with everything. I want to give my best version, be well. When the season is over they will let me know if I continue or not.
“No regrets. We are older now. The most important thing for me is transparency. It won't be a problem if they come and tell me to my face that I can't continue.”
Alves has, as part of a rejuvenated squad working under the guidance of club legend Xavi, helped to lift Barca into second spot in the Liga table this season, while they are also into the quarter-finals of the Europa League.