Dani Alves and Barcelona Are Correct to Part Ways at the End of the Season

Rik Sharma@@riksharma_Featured ColumnistSeptember 2, 2014

Dani Alves (left) has been a real star at Camp Nou.
Dani Alves (left) has been a real star at Camp Nou.David Ramos/Getty Images

Dani Alves' time at Barcelona will come to an end at the end of this season, when his contract with the club expires and the timing is more than acceptable.

Sporting director Andoni Zubizarreta announced, per the club's official Twitter feed, that both Alves and Barcelona have agreed his contract will end in 2015.

The Brazilian is a legend at the club and has more than paid back the £23 million-plus add-ons he cost when Barcelona bought him from Sevilla back in 2008.

Alves has accumulated four La Liga titles, two Champions League wins and two Copa del Reys, among other titles, during his time at Barcelona.

His constant forays forward into the opposition half, even the opposition box, are a hallmark of his game.

Seeing Alves in full flow is a sight to behold and one which Barcelona supporters have enjoyed, from his first game at the club through to his most recent, the 1-0 win over Villarreal at El Madrigal on Sunday night.

Alves is still bombing forward.
Alves is still bombing forward.Manuel Queimadelos Alonso/Getty Images

Alves understands Barcelona, too; he knows what it means to be a Cule.

Often in press conferences and the mixed zone, Alves speaks his mind and expresses his views in a forthright fashion, appreciated by both supporters and the media.

Recently he spoke to the press in his usual fashion, hinting that he was planning on leaving.
As reported by SPORT, he said:

I've earned the right to be respected after more than seven years [at the club].

I live year to year. I wanted to speak to Luis Enrique to know that he counted on me. He's said he does. If he counts on me, I count on him.

I assume my part of the responsibility. In the last two years we have not been a great team. I've failed because I let the team fall. If we all do our jobs, we will win titles - it is a question of attitude.

Being whistled by people is fine with me, because it means I am obliged to return and demonstrate my value.

They criticise me because of what I've done on the pitch, not off it. If someone doesn't like me uploading a video dancing, don't follow...

One day I will have to leave [Barcelona], but I would like to do so with the sensation that I have been a great professional.

The club were willing to sell Alves this summer but found it hard to find a buyer.

A combination of the top sides having players for the position and Alves' high wages made a solution for the full-back difficult.

So Barcelona bought right-back Douglas from Sao Paulo, someone who hopes to eventually succeed his compatriot.

Douglas said, per SPORT: "With my work and dedication I can change the idea that you may have. I will try to find my place under the new coach."

Douglas wants to emulate Alves.
Douglas wants to emulate Alves.Manu Fernandez/Associated Press

With Barcelona banned from making transfers, Douglas and La Masia graduate Martin Montoya will be the options for that position next season.

While Alves still offers plenty, the end of the season will be time for him to move along, allowing the younger players to step up.

Some of his performances over the past few months have been a little slack and his frequent crosses sometimes are a little aimless.

Perhaps he is losing focus and needs a new challenge. With Tuesday's announcement, now he will need to find one.