Dani Alves will continue for at least two more seasons with FC Barcelona, after renewing with the Club on Tuesday. This August will mark the beginning of his eighth season wearing the blaugrana shirt. Since his arrival at the club in the summer of 2008, Alves has has been a key cog in the team’s success. He has won five league titles, three Champions Leagues, three Spanish Cups, two European Super Cups, four Spanish Super Cups and two Club World Cups. Very few players can claim such a high level of success, one that has helped him gain recognition as one of the best wing-backs in the world.
In honour of his contract extension, let’s take a look at his ten biggest moments since landing at Camp Nou:
· Dani Alves comes to Barça in the summer of 2008 from Sevilla, and is presented at Camp Nou on 2 July. In his first season he becomes a regular for Pep Guardiola, playing in 54 matches — doing the same in 2010/11 — his most so far.
· His first Barça goal comes on 25 October 2008, in the eighth league match of the season. Alves scores Barça’s fifth and final goal on a long, direct kick in a 5–0 win over Almeria at Camp Nou .
· The 2008/09 season went down in history, and Alves was an active participant in achieving the FC Barcelona’s first ever Treble. Under Guardiola, Alves played in 34 league games, 10 in the Champions League, and eight in the Spanish Cup.
· In his second season wearing the Barça shirt, Alves reaches 100 official matches with the Club on 4 May 2010 in a 4–1 victory against Tenerife at Camp Nou. Alves has two assists.
· On 25 January 2012 at Camp Nou, Alves scores his first goal against Real Madrid in the return leg of the Spanish Cup quarter-finals, which Barça go on to win. It’s a fantastic goal from outside the area that slips just inside the upper corner.
· On 3 April 2012, in a 3–1 win over AC Milan at Camp Nou in the quarter-finals of the UEFA Champions League, Alves plays his 200th official match for Barça.
· On 12 March 2014, Alves scores his 20th career Barça goal against Manchester City in the last-16 return leg of the UEFA Champions League at Camp Nou.
· In fact, this match knocks out Manchester City and sends Barça into the quarter-finals of the Champions League. Alves is the absolute star of the last-16 round, scoring in both legs. His goal in Manchester puts Barça up 2–0 on 89 minutes and, three weeks later Camp Nou, Alves scores the game-winner in a 2-1 win that knocks out the English side.
· On 20 April 2014, in a game against Athletic Club Bilbao at the Camp Nou, Alves passes Phillip Cocu and moves into the number two slot on Barça’s all-time list of games played for a foreign player. Alves tops Cocu’s 292, getting to 343 by the end of the season, only behind one Lionel Messi, who currently sits at 482.
· A few months later, on 17 September 2014 against Cypriot league winners APOEL Nicosia in the Champions League, Alves starts and plays in his 300th game for the Club in Barça’s 1–0 win in the first game of the group stage.