Dani Alves has slammed FC Barcelona President Josep Maria Bartomeu for the treatment he received during his final three seasons with the club, calling the directors “false and ungrateful.”
The time frame Alves is referencing corresponds to a turbulent moment in Barcelona history, including the resignation of president Sandro Rosell due to the Neymar transfer, which will see the player stand trial on corruption charges, and the subsequent election of Bartomeu.
Bartomeu, who’d served as the club vice president from 2010-14, was instated while embroiled in his own controversy surrounding Barcelona’s 2015 transfer ban for breaching FIFA rules on the transfer of players under age 18.
Bartomeu had terminated the contract of sporting director Andont Zubizarreta, who’d been in the role since 2010, for these irregularities. “I take full responsibility for my duties,” said Zubizarreta. “[But] Mr. Bartomeu knows the situation better than anyone as he was sporting vice-president during that time.”
Alves is particularly aggrieved at the fact that Barcelona only moved to offer him a new deal as a result of this transfer ban. He’d signed a new two-year contract before the 2015-16 season, but he made sure to include a clause that would allow him to leave for free after a single season if he wished.
“Leaving Barca on a free was a classy punch,” said Alves. “During my final three seasons I always heard that ‘Alves was leaving,’ but the directors never said anything to my face.
“They were very false and ungrateful. They did not respect me. I was only offered a new deal when the FIFA transfer ban came in. That was when I played them at their own game and signed a deal with a termination clause. Those who run Barcelona today have no idea how to treat their players.”
Alves signed with Juventus on June 27, but the 33-year-old suffered a broken leg in November.
With uncertainty surrounding the future of manager Luis Enrique, the ongoing contract negotiations with Lionel Messi under the watchful eye of Pep Guardiola and Manchester City and questions surrounding an underperforming Barcelona midfield, was Alves just the beginning of a club exodus?