Dani Alves talks Mbappe, Haaland, Gavi, Pedri, Araujo, and Barcelona return

Veteran Barcelona defender Dani Alves recently sat down for a detailed interview with SPORT, during which he discussed various topics ranging from his return to Camp Nou, to the Mbappe vs Haaland debate and the young talent coming through the ranks at the club.

“I am very privileged to play for Barça right now, I am seeing incredible things from the front line,” said Alves, having returned to the Catalan outfit on a free transfer in November last year.

Mbappe or Haaland?

The Barcelona veteran also weighed up on the topic of Kylian Mbappe vs Erling Haaland. The latter has been heavily linked with a move to Camp Nou this summer, but Alves claimed that if he were to spend a big sum of money, it would be on Mbappe.

“I wouldn’t do crazy things for Haaland. Honestly, I wouldn’t spend a lot of money on him. I would spend a lot of money on Mbappé, but not on Haaland,” he said.

Explaining his choice, the Brazilian added: “Mbappe is a more complete player than Haaland in all aspects of the game. If you are going to make a huge investment, you have to make that investment in the best player. If it were up to me, I would bet on Mbappé.”

However, he did insist that he would rather not shell out big sums on young players. “Today’s football doesn’t give you time to wait for youngsters to show their potential,” Alves added.

“Today’s football demands the maximum from youngsters. However, I wouldn’t be in favor of spending a lot of money on these players.”

The youth revolution at Barcelona

The 38-year-old then discussed the array of young talents coming through at Barcelona. “I insist, it is difficult to find a generation of young players as talented as the one we have at Barça, since they all have different profiles,” Alves claimed.

Speaking on 19-year-old sensation Pedri, he said: “He’s on another level! It’s sensational to have him as a teammate. I don’t like to compare him to anyone else. Iniesta is Iniesta. For me, Pedri isn’t Xavi or Iniesta, he’s a ‘mix’ of both.”

“For me, Pedri can score more goals than Xavi and Iniesta. He makes good shots outside the box. He is improving a lot in that aspect.”

The veteran defender was also full of praise for 17-year-old La Masia graduate Gavi, saying: “It was a surprise for me. I didn’t know him until I returned to Barça. He’s an incredible player, he has a sensational competitiveness. He’s more aggressive than Pedri.”

He then went on to add that Gavi and Pedri can go on to emulate Barcelona legends Xavi Hernandez and Andres Iniesta at the club.

“Gavi and Pedri are two players who can mark an era in football like Xavi and Iniesta did. Because of their qualities and the attitude they have. They have everything to succeed,” Alves added.

Barcelona have an exciting crop of youngsters coming through at the club (Photo by JOSEP LAGO/AFP via Getty Images)

The former Juventus and PSG ace spoke about defender Ronald Araujo, praising his leadership attributes. “He is a crucial player in the team. All teams should have players similar to him… Players with strength and character. For him it is natural,” he said.

“Araujo can be a great leader in the dressing room. When the veterans leave, players like him will have to step up.”

Alves also showered praise on Nico Gonzalez, saying: “He is a box-to-box player. He is very promising. He has to learn from Xavi, the best professor. Being able to receive advice from a historical player is a blessing for Nico.”

On the currently injured Ansu Fati, Alves added: “He was born to be a goalscorer. He reminds me a lot of Samuel Eto’o. Fati is a machine to destroy defences. I think Fati can mark an era at Barça.”

Alves also added that the veteran players at Barcelona have a lot to learn from the youngsters coming through, saying: “At Barça there are many young players at the moment. As veterans, we are trying to learn from what they can teach us.”

The right-back also had a piece of advice for the youth stars of Barcelona. “Barça’s young players have to take the right path to mark an era at Barcelona. Fame is the biggest distraction in life. They have to learn to dominate it,” he rounded off.

The post Dani Alves talks Mbappe, Haaland, Gavi, Pedri, Araujo, and Barcelona return appeared first on Barca Universal.

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