Dani Alves draws plaudits in his first match since return to Barcelona

Photo by Marc Graupera Aloma / AFP7 Getty Images

“Alves puts on a show,” “Alves gives a lesson,” “Alves in his purest form.” Those are the headlines right now in one of the biggest sports outlets in Catalonia, Diario SPORT.

It was just a friendly, in a team with many B team players, playing against South American opposition. But the excitement was hard to contain.

The legendary Dani Alves is back for one last ride.

SPORT notes that he hadn’t played a match in four and a half months, but he showed he was in a good physical state and worked in attack and defense, filling several roles as the match wore on.

He played as a right-back, midfielder, and even as an attacker throughout the match. And he captained the side for part of it.

One of his crosses began the play that ended up being Ferran Jutglà’s opening goal. He also put in a sliding tackle that got shared online quite a bit.

Boca Juniors eventually equalized, and won the friendly cup on penalties - but you can’t blame Alves, who scored his.

“He showed that he has the quality and physical attributes to be a starter for this Barça. It is a pity that he will not be able to play officially until January, because I am convinced that he would do a great service to the Blaugrana coach in the two league games that remain before the Christmas holidays,” wrote Lluís Mascaró in his editorial.

Whether this Alves mania will continue, when he plays competitive matches in La Liga or the Europa League, remains to be seen. But for now, it seems Barcelona fans are ready for the emotional lift from a serial winner.

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