Former Barcelona defender Francesco Coco has heaped praise on Dani Alves, claiming his return is reminiscent of Roberto Donadoni’s homecoming at AC Milan.

As quoted by Be Soccer, Francesco Coco has had his say on Dani Alves’s famous return to Barcelona. The former Barcelona defender compared the Brazilian’s return with Roberto Donadoni’s popular homecoming at AC Milan several years ago.

Dani Alves is the most successful player of all time, having won more trophies than any other footballer in the history of the game. The Brazilian international’s most trophy-laden phase came during his first stint with Barcelona, where he spent nearly a decade before representing other clubs like Juventus, Paris Saint-Germain and Sao Paulo.

After terminating his contract with Sao Paulo in September 2021, the 38-year-old’s future had become a subject of intense speculation. But very few would have tipped him to return to Barcelona at the time despite the Blaugrana’s struggles. However, the unthinkable happened when Barcelona re-signed Alves in November.

Since sealing a famous return to Camp Nou, Alves has made five appearances for Barcelona, chipping in with one goal and three assists. And now, former Barcelona defender Francesco Coco has heaped praise on the veteran Brazilian defender, comparing his comeback with Roberto Donadoni’s homecoming at AC Milan.

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“This reminds me of Milan, the great Milan, when it was going through a year of transition with the departures of Tassotti, Donadoni or Baresi . And I remember that two years later, Donadoni returned, who had left Milan for the United States and then return. And why did he return? Not to give what Donadoni had always given to Milan, but because there was a need to recover that type of presence in the locker room.”

“The return of Dani Alves is because he was part of the hard core of Barcelona along with the Catalans, Puyol, Xavi or Iniesta. And the reason for bringing him back is not so much because of what he can give on the field, but because he can transmit to the rest what is the essence of the club.”

Like Alves, Donadoni returned to AC Milan for a second time in 1997 to stabilise the club at a much-needed time. And while several right-backs, like Cesar Azpilicueta, are linked with Barcelona, Alves’ presence in the first-team setup should ideally help the Blaugrana at a difficult time.

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