Remarkable turnaround for Alves
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.