Dani Alves has revealed that before deciding to return home to Brazil with Sao Paulo, he could have returned to either Barcelona or Juventus.
The right-back knew he was going to leave Paris Saint-Germain at the end of the 2018/19 season and had his options open, yet Sao Paulo’s belief in him ended up being the 36-year-old’s reason for choosing them.
“I had the opportunity to return to Juventus, and also to Barcelona, but only Sao Paulo, the team of my dreams, believed in me and gave me stability until 2022 so that I can fight to play in the World Cup,” Alves told The Players’ Tribune.
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“I’ve said it since the start of my career: I’m free and I’ll decide when I start and finish my career.”
Alves penned a three-year deal with Sao Paulo, with his goal being to finish the 2021/22 season with a place in the Brazil squad for the 2022 World Cup.
“The other teams believe that I have an expiration date, and I feel like a child again,” he added.
“I’m back [home], I’m starting my career now.”
The defender, who came into the Copa America as a free agent, was named as the tournament’s best player after playing an integral role in the Selecao lifting the trophy, but he only wanted to play well as he knew that offers would soon arrive.
“If I did well, many doors would open,” Alves stated.
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Following the conclusion of the Copa America, Alves listened to the offers he had on the table, which included proposals from Barcelona and Juventus, but he is clear that only Sao Paulo met his requirements.
“No one offered me what I wanted, except for the team of my dreams,” he noted.
Alves is very happy at Sao Paulo and he hopes that his performances with them will see him earn a spot in the Brazil squad for the next World Cup, at which point he will be 39 years old.