Re­mark­able turn­around for Alves

New Straits Times - - Sport -

TURIN: Af­ter an in­jury-in­ter­rupted start at Ju­ven­tus, Dani Alves has re­dis­cov­ered the form which helped him win 23 tro­phies over eight sea­sons with Barcelona and made him one of their most in­flu­en­tial play­ers.

Alves is now en­joy­ing a sec­ond wind at his new club and gave an in­spired per­for­mance in Ju­ven­tus’s 2-1 win over AS Monaco on Tues­day which must have left Barcelona won­der­ing why they let him go in the first place.

Hav­ing played a part in both goals in Juve’s 2-0 win in the first leg a week ago, he again cre­ated the first goal and then scored the sec­ond with a thump­ing drive as the Serie A cham­pi­ons com­pleted a 4-1 ag­gre­gate win in the semi-fi­nal.

It was a re­mark­able turn­around for the ex­u­ber­ant Brazil­ian who felt un­wanted when Barcelona de­cided to re­lease him as a free agent in June and then suf­fered a bro­ken left fibula in Novem­ber.

That could have ended his ca­reer, yet the 34-year-old has come back stronger than ever.

Alves, more usu­ally fielded as a right-back, was brought in on the right side of the Ju­ven­tus mid­field in place of Juan Cuadrado, a po­si­tion which al­lowed him to show all his at­tack­ing abil­ity.

He quickly showed his in­ten­tions with a thump­ing but per­fectly-timed tackle to stop Monaco’s 18-year-old for­ward Kylian Mbappe from break­ing down the left wing.

He fol­lowed that up by float­ing over an invit­ing cross which Mario Mandzu­kic con­verted at the sec­ond at­tempt to break the dead­lock.

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