Dani Alves is one of the best right-backs of his generation. He was an integral part of the Barcelona team which won everything on offer at the club level. He often came up against Cristiano Ronaldo playing for Real Madrid. The Portuguese is one of the best players to have ever graced the game.
However, there was always a rivalry between Real Madrid and Barcelona which has kept the duo away. Now, Ronaldo is playing for Manchester United and Dani Alves left the club this summer after his second stint. So the Brazilian has now heaped praise on Ronaldo, moving away from the rivalry.
Dani Alves heaps praise on Cristiano Ronaldo, after moving away from the Real Madrid-Barcelona rivalry
Dani Alves said on Efrian Velarde’s podcast, via Marca: “I love Cristiano. Now that we’re no longer at Barcelona and Real Madrid, it seems that I can talk, because it always seemed like I couldn’t,”
“Cristiano exemplifies, for all of us, the best example of what we can do. Cristiano exemplifies, for all of us who don’t have so much quality, that with hard work you can also compete against the best.”
“I respect him a lot and I had the opportunity to tell him that.”
Dani Alves also opened up on the Ballon d’Or gala controversy. He said: “There came a time because of the rivalry that I would go over to greet him [Ronaldo] and he wouldn’t greet me.”
“There was a controversy that never came out, but in the dressing room of the Ballon d’Or ceremony we had a scuffle, I greeted everyone and he didn’t greet me because of what the Barcelona-Real Madrid rivalry was generating outside.”
“How can I not respect a guy who has achieved everything based on hard work and putting his heart and soul into it?”
Alves also gave his opinion on the never-ending Ronaldo-Messi debate. He said: “I identify with him, because everything I’ve done in my life has been based on work. If you were to make a comparison, as a player I’m closer to Cristiano than Leo because of the work, not because of the talent, because Leo is a born talent.”
“He was born with the talent to play football and to be in another world that only he can reach.”