Dani Alves is under no illusions about the task at hand for Barcelona, who are in a very different position from when he left the Camp Nou in the summer of 2016
Barca had been holding talks with Alves over the past week regarding his return to the club and have now decided to add him to their first-team squad when the January transfer window opens.
Alves had left the Camp Nou in 2016 after the club had won the domestic double of the titles in La Liga and the Copa del Rey, while they had won the treble – including the Champions League – the previous year.
The Catalan giants have not been back in the final of the European showpiece since his exit and look set to endure their third successive campaign without a league title as they languish in ninth spot in the standings.
Barca’s problems away from the pitch have been well-documented, with the club in over €1billion of debt and having to allow a series of star players to leave, including Lionel Messi.
Alves has now spoken of the need to “rebuild” the club following their struggles in recent years in an indication of the reality of the situation.
The Brazilian has said: “I am already here in Barcelona.
“I am with you again and I am very happy to return home.
“I hope to see you soon to be able to enjoy and rebuild the Barca that we love so much.”
The 38-year-old was recently a VIP guest at Barca’s Champions League clash against Dynamo Kiev amid rumours of a return to Camp Nou, and he has now penned a deal until the end of the campaign.
Since Alves left Barca in 2016, the club had spent in excess of €100million in transfer fees attempting to replace the Brazilian.
The Blaugrana had signed five players in the position – Aleix Vidal, Nelson Semedo, Moussa Wague, Emerson Royal and Sergino Dest – with midfielder Sergi Roberto converted to play into the position in the years since.
Prior to his return, Alves had said that the Catalan club were now “less special” following the exit of Messi – whom he starred alongside for eight years – this summer.
Alves said on Messi following his Camp Nou exit: “I’m very sorry for Messi and for Barça, but sometimes in life there are cycles that have to be closed.
“Messi will continue to be Messi and Barca will continue to be Barca, but a little less special.”
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Alves will not be able to make his second debut for the club until January, but he could play a significant role for the club away from the pitch.
The 38-year-old is known for his energy and fun-loving nature in the dressing room, while also possessing all the attributes of a serial winner.
Alves has won more trophies than any other footballer and will look to add to that haul with Barca.