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Juventus right-back Dani Alves gave an interview to Spanish daily ABC in which he made it clear that he is no fan of those in power at his former club, Barcelona: "Football is full of hypocrisy, jealousy and false friends". He also spoke about other issues such as his plans to hang up his boots and recalled his run-ins with Cristiano Ronaldo. As ever, Dani was on superb form...
Upbringing in Brazil: “I'm the youngest of five brothers. My mum was a housewife and my dad was a gardener. He looked after the allotment, where he would grow tomatoes, onions and melons. When I was six, I would get up at four o'clock in the morning to go and help him. Juazeiro is a place that has extreme weather - droughts and torrential rain, depending on the time of year. We were not always guaranteed a harvest. That's why we would also go out to hunt wild pigeon so that we would have meat on the table at home.
When I was 14, some of my brothers and cousins and myself were hired as extras in a film - Guerra dos Canudos it was called. They gave us food and we were paid five reales which was a lot of money back then".
Starting out in football: “When he was 30 years old, my dad formed a team - Palmeiras de Salitre, and he would take me along with them, even though I was only 10. Then I joined Esporte Clube Bahia, the club Sevilla signed me from”.
Leaving Barcelona: "I like to feel liked, and if I am not liked, I leave. Leaving Barcelona on a free was a massive blow, but I did it with style. During my last three years I kept hearing that I was on my way out but the director never said anything to me about it to my face. They didn't have the respect to do that. They were false and very unpleasant. They only offered me the chance to renew my contract after the club was banned from signing by FIFA. That was when I signed a renewal with a break clause. Those in power at Barcelona right now have no idea how to treat their footballers properly".
Huge respect for Cristiano Ronaldo
Run-in with Cristiano Ronaldo: "My fights with Cristiano were all down to the press. If people really knew how much admiration and respect I have for Cristiano Ronaldo... I will repeat that to make it absolutely clear - I have great respect for Cristiano Ronaldo, father of Cristiano Jr., son of Dolores and José, who God, in all his glory, loves. When I said that he was too much in the limelight, I meant it in a respectful way - that when you win everyone sings your praises but when you lose, you are attacked. And I think exactly the same way about Messi and Neymar. The media, twisted my words and sold it in a different way, saying that I was talking badly about Ronaldo and he believed it. That was why he didn't greet me at the 2015 Ballon d'Or. I don't need to talk about anyone to get into the newspapers".
In time, we managed to patch it up. He realized that my words were being manipulated and in the first Clásico after that Ballon d'Or gala, he came up to me and greeted me. That was the end of the story.
Retiring: "When I quit football, I'll go into music. I love music, it's is my big passion. I am sure than in a previous life I was a singer. When I was younger we had a group and made our own instruments. One of my brothers is a singer and I have a production company in Brazil, Compongo which helps groups that are just starting out".
Why do you dislike the press so much?
That's not true. I only don't like it when they invent things, manipulate things and create bad vibes. I am referring to the sports press in Madrid and Barcelona. Behind every football is a human being and we need respect just like anyone else.
Fame is rubbish
Fame and football: "The world of football is very hypocritical. It depresses me. Fame is rubbish. When I was a young boy, I would practice signing my autograph because I dreamed of being well known and signing autographs. But that is the mentality of a child - I didn't really know what it meant. Now I am famous, I have realized that people don't see famous people for who they really are. Football brings jealousy, hypocrisy, falseness and fair-weather friends".
Racism: “It doesn't affect me if somebody calls me 'black'. I don't feel any different to anyone else. It only affects you if you let it. I don't like the victim mentality which you see quite a lot of in today's society. If people's attitude was more: 'I couldn't care less what they say', maybe life would be easier and more enjoyable”.
Mourinho: “Mourinho's Madrid didn't know how to lose. They played dirty”.