Barcelona president Joan Laporta has refused to rule out the possibility of club legends Lionel Messi and Andres Iniesta returning to the club following the arrival of Dani Alves at the Camp Nou.
The Brazilian is back for a second spell and was unveiled at a ceremony at the Camp Nou on Wednesday, November 17. The 38-year-old has followed legend Xavi in returning to the club, and Laporta was asked at a press conference if Messi and Iniesta could follow suit, as reported by Marca.
“I do not rule it out,” he said. “These are people who have made this club great. Messi and Iniesta are spectacular, I cannot predict the future, as they are still playing, but they have made the club great, we always keep them in mind, although now they have contracts with others clubs and you have to respect that, but in life you never know.”
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Messi & Iniesta Talk Up Returns
Messi left the club in the summer of 2021 and moved to Paris Saint-Germain. The Argentine has already admitted he would like to return to the club in some capacity, ideally as a sporting director, in the future.
Meanwhile, Iniesta left Barcelona back in 2018 and moved to Japanese side Vissel Kobe. The former midfielder signed a new two-year contract extension with the club in May 2021 on his 37th birthday.
The World Cup winner has also said he would like to return to Barcelona at some point, although he is unclear what role he could take up back at the Camp Nou, as reported by Diario Sport.
“I don’t know what will happen in the future, I would love in some moment of my life to return to Barca. I don’t know in what capacity,” he said. “To return to Barca, to my home, to be able to continue helping in one way or another, but nobody knows the future.”
Laporta Says Xavi Needed Alves
Laporta also spoke about Barcelona’s decision to bring back Alves. The Catalan giants’ move for the 38-year-old has raised some eyebrows, but Laporta revealed new coach Xavi was in no doubt he wanted the Brazilian as part of his team.
He explained, “I asked Xavi if he wanted to sign Dani as he was available and Xavi told us: ‘I need Dani Alves in the team, it’s important’ – and so things have ended up as they should have. He’s here!”
Alves may be heading towards the end of his career but has made it clear he has come to do a job at Barcelona and not sit on the bench. The Brazilian will have to battle with Sergino Dest and Oscar Mingueza for a starting spot but is up for the challenge, as reported by Marca.
“I wasn’t born to be second, I was always first. I’m here to fight, I’m not here to pass time or to live in Barcelona,” he said. “I’ve come here to play and fight for a place [in the team]. It’s not because I made history or because of my good relationship with Xavi. With my work I’m going to fight and try to contribute. Age is just a number. I just proved it at the Olympics. People will expect the best from me and I will respond as always.”
Yet Alves will have to wait to make his second debut for Barcelona. The defender can train with the club but is not eligible to play competitive fixtures until January 1.