Dani Alves has revealed that he had the option to return to Barcelona this past summer, but eventually he opted for Sao Paulo for a crucial reason.
The 36-year-old has enjoyed a glittering career thus far, winning countless trophies at Barcelona while also winning major honours in both Italy and France.
Despite now being in the latter stages of his career, the Brazilian international has revealed that he had the opportunity to return to the Nou Camp for a second stint earlier this summer when his contract with Paris Saint-Germain expired.
However, there was a key reason behind why he didn’t seal a return, and instead opted to go back to Brazil and join Sao Paulo in what is potentially the last switch of his career.
“I had the opportunity to return to Juventus. I also had the opportunity to return to Barça, but only Sao Paulo, the team of my dreams, believed in me and gave me stability until 2022,” he is quoted as saying by Mundo Deportivo.
“Most of the clubs did not offer me that, because they did not believe in me. Because they think I have an expiration date. What I wanted, the key point for me, was to have the stability to fight for the 2022 World Cup. That was the starting point for my next challenge. And I’ve said it since I started my career: I’m free. I decide when I start. I decide when I finish.”
Alves left Barca in 2016 after making 391 appearances for the club and winning countless trophies including six La Liga titles and three Champions League trophies.
Given that the reigning Spanish champions have struggled to really replace him in the last three years, that could have been enough of a reason to take him back and bring in a quality reinforcement.
However, it sounds as though neither Barcelona nor Juventus were willing to give the veteran a long-term deal given he turns 37 next year, and so that in turn opened the door to a move to Sao Paulo instead as Alves targets a place in the Brazil squad for the 2022 World Cup.