Dani Alves has expressed his desire to see Lionel Messi return to Barcelona from Paris Saint-Germain, telling the Catalan giants to "take care of it" and give his ex-team-mate a "great gift".
Messi earned a place among football's all-time greats during his 20-year stay at Barcelona, which came to an abrupt end last summer as the club were unable to tie him to a new contract due to La Liga wage restrictions.
The Argentine, who won multiple Spanish titles and Champions League crowns at Camp Nou while also becoming the Blaugrana's all-time top scorer, subsequently joined PSG on a free transfer, but Alves believes he can be convinced to retrace his steps.
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Alves' Messi plea
Alves rejoined Barca himself after five-and-a-half years away, but says the atmosphere behind the scenes is not the same without Messi.
The Brazilian full-back has urged the club to bring back the seven-time Ballon d'Or winner so that he can see out his illustrious career in familiar surroundings, telling Catalunya Radio: "Messi is the best player in the history of football. It’s strange to be here and not see him, to not have him in the squad.
"Sometimes things don’t happen as we dream. I already told him that he is not going to be in any better place than here.
"He told me the same when I left. It would be very good if Messi finishes his career here. Finishing it here would be a great gift for him, and the club could take care of it."
Messi's Barcelona legacy
Messi recorded 672 goals in 778 appearances for Barca between 2004 and 2021, helping the club win 35 trophies along the way.
The diminutive forward inspired the Blaugrana to two treble-winning campaigns in 2008-09 and 2014-15, while setting a number of records including the most goals scored in Spanish top-flight history and in a single La Liga and European season.
PSG have tied Messi to a two-year contract with the option of an extra year, but the 34-year-old has left the door open for a return to Camp Nou at some stage.
"I always said that I would love to be able to help the club," Messi told SPORT in October.
"I would love to be a technical secretary at some point. I don't know if it will be at Barcelona or not. Or if it will be elsewhere.
"If there is a possibility, I would like to contribute again in what I can because it is the club that I love and I would love for it to continue to be good, to continue growing and to continue being one of the best in the world."