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Frank Rijkaard vs. Pep Guardiola: Daniel Alves vs. Julian Belletti

The second match-up in this series of articles is between the right backs, Juliano Belletti and Dani Alves.

I must say, this match-up is pretty one-sided.

With all the respect in the world to the Champions League final goal scorer Belletti, he is up against a man who many argue to be the best right back in the world. It could be argued at times that Belletti was not even the best right back at the club!

Alves is a manager’s dream and nightmare in equal measures. While his forays into the attacking third create space and chances for his teammates, it also leaves huge gaps which the opposition can exploit, causing the rest of the defence to be put under pressure.

However, as I said last time, Valdes is quick to vanquish any hope the attacker has of scoring.

Dani also infuriates when he makes a fantastic run past opposing players, only to fail when attempting to produce a cross into the box. All in all though, he is an amazing player and a perfect fit for Barcelona.

Under Rijkaard though, the right back position was something of a weakness, with guys like Puyol and Oleguer being pushed out wide to try and solve that problem.

My favourite, and seemingly Rijkaard’s too, was the aforementioned Belletti.

In a way he share attributes with Alves, as he too is from the Samba nation, likes to attack and could be caught out too as a result. However, as I mentioned earlier he did score in the Champions League final.

But not just any goal though, he scored the winner.

That was his only goal during his time at Barcelona but one of the most significant in the club’s history.

That is why I continued to like him even after a move to my least favourite team Chelsea. But, it will not be enough for him to beat Alves in this match-up.

Winner: Dani Alves

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