Barcelona have agreed on terms with veteran defender Dani Alves, who will join the club on a contract until the summer of 2022. The 38-year-old, who previously spent eight years at Camp Nou between 2008 and 2016, will only be available for selection starting January.

Dani Alves - Xavi
Dani Alves became Xavi’s first transfer since his appointment as club manager one week ago. (Image:

Dani Alves will have an extension clause in his contract, meaning he could stay for a year more if Barcelona is happy with his services. The Brazilian returns to Barcelona, the club he left in 2016 after making 391 appearances and scoring 23 goals, as a free agent. He left Sao Paulo in his native country in September.

During his previous spell with the Blaugrana, Dani Alves won six La Liga titles and three Champions League trophies. He is one of the most decorated people to ever have played football, with 42 trophies to his name. In the summer, Alves was part of Brazil’s Olympic team which won gold in Tokyo, becoming the oldest football player to ever win the most important medal.

In 2016, Alves left Barcelona to sign for Juventus, where he spent two years. Then, in 2018, he joined Paris Saint-Germain, with life away from Barca finishing in Sao Paulo, in 2019.

Despite the fact that both president Joan Laporta and former coach Ronald Koeman previously refused to have Alves back, new first-team coach Xavi was happy to take back his former colleague. Xavi believes the defender’s leadership and professionalism will help the development of the youngsters in Barcelona’s first team.

Dani Alves - Sao Paulo
Dani Alves last played for Sao Paulo in Brazil, before becoming a free agent in September.. (Image:

Dani Alves: ‘I am very happy to return home’

At Sao Paulo, Alves played 22 games in 2021, winning the Paulista state championship after a final against arch-rivals Palmeiras in May. It was Sao Paulo’s 22nd triumph in the Paulista state league and ended an eight-year run without silverware at the club.

“I am very happy to return home,” Alves told FC Barcelona’s media channels, adding that he “hopes to help rebuild the Barca we love so much”.

The Brazilian also had a message for his Instagram followers, saying he fought to return ever since he left in the first place.

“Almost five years fighting like crazy to get to this moment. I didn’t know it would last that long, I didn’t know it would be this hard, but I knew in my heart and in my soul that this day would come. I come home, from where I never actually left,” Alves vowed.