Dani Alves has revealed that Barcelona “loved” facing Arsenal in the Champions League as their expansive style of football helped his former club score regularly against them.
The Paris Saint-Germain defender was interviewed for the December edition of FourFourTwo magazine via 90mins and explained how the Gunners’ possession-based philosophy consistently played into the hands of La Blaugrana during bouts in UEFA’s club tournament.
Arsenal were knocked out of the Champions League three times by the Catalan giants, and veteran full-back Alves admitted that it was their lack of defensive resolve which ultimately cost them when facing his former employers.
He said: “Well, we definitely liked to face Arsenal. They had a similar football style to ours, and this sometimes helped to facilitate our way of playing.
“We were drawn against them several times with a positive outcome. They were a team we dominated and had a control over. Every time we faced Arsenal, we’d have a good result or good performance.”
Alves left Barcelona in the summer of 2016 to join Serie A heavyweights Juventus before his acrimonious departure for PSG in the last summer transfer window
His finest days, however, did come in a Barcelona shirt and the 34-year-old recalled how the team of 2010/11 – which beat Manchester United in the UCL final at Wembley that season – would always go down as one of the most celebrated sides in footballing history.
He added: “Talking to several football experts, they haven’t seen another team as incredible as that Barcelona.
“These are people who’ve been following the game for a long time and they say they’ve never seen such a thing.
“We represented the definition of a collective game. We ate, drank and breathed football, so moments like winning the Champions League were rewards for all our efforts.”