Six years on, Xavi Hernández and Dani Alves are back together at FC Barcelona. The difference is that the former is returning as first team coach, while the 38-year-old Brazilian is here to play for the second time in his career. who inherited his number 6 shirt when he left for Qatar.
The Spanish giant have taken to Twitter to announce the return of the legendary Brazilian fullback.
“FC Barcelona and Dani Alves have reached an agreement in principle for the player to join the football first team for the remainder of the current season. The Brazilian will be joining training from next week but will not be able to play until January.”
The club will announce the full details at his official presentation as a new FC Barcelona player
Alves left the door open for Barca to make their move when telling Sport in October that he would be willing to listen to offers.
He said: “It would sound very opportunistic to say that Barca need me now. I always said that I left because I saw things were not the way I thought they should be.
“You never want to see everything that [has] ended up happening since I left. I’ve said that when Barca need me and want me, I would be at their disposal regardless of where I am. The affection, love and respect I have for this club is too much.
“If Barca think they need me, they just have to call me. I still think I can contribute anywhere, but more at Barca because of the number of young players that they have now.”
Xavi inherited a squad from Koeman that already includes right-back options such as Sergino Dest and Sergi Roberto.
Barca have however been struggling for consistency and another experienced head alongside Gerard Pique, Jordi Alba and Marc-Andre ter Stegen would not go amiss.
Alves’ previous stint with Barca, between 2008 and 2016, saw him collect 23 trophies and cement a place in the club’s history as one of their best fullback.
Alves could make his debut on January 2 when Barcelona head to Real Mallorca in La Liga.