Alves: CL success prompted Barca stay

The Brazil international accompanied his team-mates to the Nou Camp on Sunday to celebrate their second treble-winning campaign in six years and admitted the feelings were so overpowering that he knew extending his stay with the Blaugrana was the course to take instead of signing for a new team.

“In my life, I follow my heart and my heart told me to stay here,” Alves said in Wednesday’s press conference. “I still have a lot to offer this club and many challenges yet to achieve.

“It’s great for me to stay at this club and continue to make history.

“I have the best team-mates ever. I had never had (or been a part of) such a great group, with such chemistry.

“Several positive factors have led me to make this decision.

“I am only in the place where I feel loved.”

Alves, whose previous deal ended this month, became emotional while speaking on Sunday at the Nou Camp during Barca’s treble celebrations, nearly 24 hours after their 3-1 win over Juve in Berlin.

“I had had doubts but on Sunday it was clear to me that many people love me and respect me here,” he said. “Before that celebration, had I not had the reception I had, that of being felt valued, loved, it may have been different.”

As it is, Alves will remain for at least two more years and try to win more trophies with the team.

The 32-year-old right-back has already won 19 titles with Barca since arriving at the Catalan outfit seven years ago from Sevilla.

Alves had been coveted by some of European football’s biggest clubs, including Paris Saint-Germain.

“If it had been a money issue, I wouldn’t be at this club,” Alves said. “But in the end, with the club we found a middle ground and both sides are happy.”

Just last month Alves was highly critical of the club and said he did not feel “fully respected”.

“People had doubted me and thought my career was over,” he said. “I didn’t feel happy, just like I want to be.

“I thought to myself that if this was my last year, I would leave just as I had come to this club, through the front door and doing the best I could.”

Alves proved a huge contributor to Barca as they clinched the Primera Division, Copa del Rey and Champions League titles this season making 45 appearances, including 44 as a starter.

And he also revealed that team-mate Lionel Messi reached out to him and helped him make up his mind to stay.

He said: “Leo told me: ‘Dani stay. Where are you going to be better than here?’.

“I had the same conversation with Leo a year ago when there were reports that Leo had offers and that I might be sold and we said exactly thee same thing back then.

“We are in a great club, a wonderful city, with great weather.”

Alves has gone from not knowing for certain where he wanted to play football next season to now contemplating making Barcelona his final club.

“It’s a possibility that I will retire at Barcelona,” he said. “If I leave this club, I wouldn’t like to face them.”

Alves’ new deal was announced on Tuesday, the same day that coach Luis Enrique signed a one-year contract extension that will keep him at the club until June 2017.

“I’m delighted that Luis Enrique will be staying too, his contract extension is well deserved,” said Alves. “Luis Enrique has returned this club to where it should be.

“He has brought back enthusiasm.

“He told me to stay this season that we would have fun and he was right.”

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