Since arriving in Paris in the summer, former Barcelona and Juventus full-back Dani Alves has wasted no time in showing the French public his extraordinary talent.
“I’m very happy with how things have gone until now. Everything’s good and things are moving in the right direction,” Alves tells The Ligue 1 Show on beIN Sports.
Alves arrived in Paris in July, the former Barcelona man moving to Ligue 1 Conforama after a successful year in Italy with Juventus. He joined an already strong Brazilian colony that would soon welcome Neymar Jr.
“I thought it would be a lot harder to settle in here. I think what helped me was being surrounded by really good friends, and I think that’s helped me on and off the pitch and also in a more general sense. They’ve helped me to understand the club’s philosophy, the ambitions here and the club’s history, the road it travelled to get where it is. Those friends have enlightened me.”
PSG have been transformed in recent years and the capital club hope signing players with the experience of Alves can help them achieve the success they so crave in Europe sooner rather than later.
“Today, I think I know PSG very well,” he says. “I know where it wants to be, its struggles and what it has built so far. Everything is in place for this club to be a major, respected player in the football world.”
Paris beat Manchester City to the signature of the 34-year-old Alves, who scored on his debut in the Trophée des Champions against AS Monaco in July and immediately established himself as first choice at right-back in Unai Emery’s side.
“I knew what to expect and if there have been surprises, they’ve only been positive ones. We’re trying to create history here, as a group of great friends. When you work with a good attitude, when you’re happy, the results are always positive,” says Alves.
A consummate professional on the pitch, Alves is an explosive personality off it. It is a double life that the Brazilian embraces.
He says: “There’s a saying I’ll never forget: ‘Don’t take your life as seriously as your work!’ My work demands a certain amount of focus and concentration, of compromise and discipline and lots of other things that aren’t necessarily present in my personal life.
“In my life, I try to be as free as possible, to create lots of positive vibes, passion and be a good influence on others!
“I think it’s possible to be these two different people. The serious guy, that always fights to win, who digs in when the going gets tough, to help the team, the club, the jersey…but once that is over, my private life begins, my joyous, happy life!
Alves shares glimpses of his colourful life on Instagram, from photographs in front of the Eiffel Tower with his wife to attending Paris fashion shows – there is plenty for him to do to take his mind off the football in the French capital.
“I think if I took my life as seriously as I do football, I’d go crazy, but not a good crazy. Football consumes you totally, your spirit, your body, your energy. I can recharge myself because I’m so happy off the pitch. I don’t put any unnecessary pressure on my personal life,” he adds.
“When I’m at work, I’m a very serious guy, but I think I’m a relaxed guy when I’m not working.
“If I act a little crazy on the football pitch, people might think that I’m not taking the match seriously, so I leave that at home when I’m playing football. That leaves my warrior side free to fight on the pitch and do what it needs to do. When it’s over, when the referee blows that final whistle, I can become ‘Dani-cool’ again, I become ‘Dani-always-good-time’.”