Xavi says Barcelona miss right-back Dani Alves

Indo Asian News Service

Madrid, April 15 (IANS) FC Barcelona legend Xavi Hernandes believes the Catalan football giants should not have let veteran right-back Dani Alves leave for Juventus last season.

Alves departed on a free transfer after eight seasons at Barcelona in which he won three UEFA Champions League trophies and six La Liga titles, reports Xinhua news agency.

"Obviously I would bring back Dani Alves," Xavi was quoted as saying by goal.com on Friday. "He decided to leave, but for me he is the best right-back in the world at the moment. Barca miss him a lot."

Alves faced his old team for the first time since leaving the club last week, helping to subdue fellow Brazilian Neymar as the Italian giants won 3-0 in Turin.

In an interview leading up to the match, Alves said he decided to leave the Camp Nou after growing tired of being made a scapegoat for the team's shortcomings.

Xavi, who won eight La Liga and four Champions League titles in a trophy-laden one-club football career, also said that Barcelona would do well to pursue Juventus' Argentine forward Paulo Dybala and Paris Saint-Germain's Italian midfielder Marco Verratti this summer.

On Dybala, 2010 World Cup winner Xavi said said the 23-year-old "would be a good option" for Barcelona in the future.

Dybala on Thursday signed a new contract with Juventus that will keep him at the Turin giants till 2022. Several European giants, including Real Madrid and Barcelona want to sign the highly-rated attacker.

Verratti "would be ideal" for Barcelona, according to the former captain of the Catalan club.

"He has the ability to play at Barcelona, no doubt. I think he has a lot of the qualities that I have as a player," Xavi said of the 24-year-old Italian, who reportedly has a price tag of at least $75 million in the transfer market.

--IANS

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