Dani Alves admits Barcelona-Milan is something of a regular appointment. “They’re practically part of the family now!”
The defender spoke alongside Tata Martino in his Press conference ahead of tomorrow’s Champions League clash.
“Milan are practically part of the family now! We have met many times in recent years. I still think they are a great team and tomorrow will be, as always, a very tough match.
“I believe they’ll play the same way as they did at San Siro,” he said of the 1-1 draw.
“Our rivals have rediscovered our style now and put 11 men in defence so it becomes difficult to reach the goal. There has been a lot of criticism around us recently, but the important thing is to keep following our philosophy.
“We have a good defence and know that when we don’t concede goals, we are more likely to win,” said Dani Alves.
“Criticism is part of the sport. If we look at the numbers, then we are doing well. Perhaps in terms of style we’re not quite as good as in previous years, but we have changed. It used to be quite monotonous, but now we have introduced some variants that are giving positive results.
“It’s not true that we are only looking for the result, as we also want to play good football. I simply believe we changed the way we go about it. As the Coach says, we don’t need 18-20 passes to get to the goal.”
Leo Messi has also been criticised after failing to find the net in his last four games, a rare occurrence for him.
“Leo had moments in the past when he didn’t score as much. In football these phases can happen, but I am sure he’ll soon get back to scoring and we’ll help him. We are not worried by this.
“Neymar was signed to do exactly what he’s doing now and has settled in perfectly to the club. He was brought in to create something different and add more to our football.
“If our opponents attacked us more, we’d have more space, but that doesn’t happen. We have our style and want to maintain it. It’s not easy to face a side like Milan who are strong on the counter-attack.”
Barcelona have often complained about the state of the playing surface when on their travels, but they are now finding problems at home too.
“We need a perfect pitch to make the most of our style and I think now the Camp Nou field is becoming a problem for us.”