BFB Exclusive Interview: Dani Alves.
That’s right, folks, we’re coming at you liiiive with an exclusive interview with Brazilian and FC Barcelona fullback Dani Alves. We’re going to clear the air on all this malarkey that’s been going down in the tabloids recently about how he’s not signing a contract extension because he’s demands are outrageous, preposterous, absolutely mind-bogglingly absurd.
BFB: First, let me thank you for taking the time to speak–
Alves: Listen up, where’s my paycheck for this?
BFB: I–uh–I didn’t know you wanted–
Alves: I’m not here for the coffee, you know.
BFB: Did you want something else? We have tea, hot chocolate…
Alves: That’s not what I’m talking about!
BFB: I think we might have some cachaça left from the holiday party…
Alves: Give me a caiparinha. But make sure you use real cane sugar! None of that Splenda bullshit!
BFB: [waves distractedly at personal assistant, who scampers to the BFB liquor cabinet] So, let’s get started. There are rumors that Barça aren’t meeting your current wage demands. Is this true?
Alves: Completely true.
BFB: Oh. Well, okay. I guess that was easier than I expected. Why do you think they aren’t meeting them?
Alves: They’re trying to lowball me. I’m the best right back in the world. I deserve to be paid as much as the other superstars on the team. Pique gets all the Dippin’ Dots he wants–I say, what about Dani Alves’ Dippin’ Dots? They can’t keep me from my Dippin’ Dots like that!
BFB: Are you holding the club for ransom?
Alves: Never. I merely want my market value.
BFB: What are your demands?
Alves: First, a big raise. Like one of those raises that makes you go “goddamn that’s a big raise!” and then you go and splurge on a new home theater.
BFB: You don’t have a home theater system?
Alves: I didn’t say home theater system. I said home theater. Obama has one in his basement. I want one too.
BFB: You said “first” before…
Alves: Yeah. And I want a better parking space. Right now I’m between Mascherano and Milito. I can’t tell you how many times they’ve dinged my car. And when you confront them about it, they chuckled and go “Che boludo, you’re a funny guy!” You ever been the Brazilian in an Argentine sandwich?
BFB: Well, just once during that summer trip to Cancun when these girls mistook my terrible Spanish accent for Brazilian and then–
Alves: Shut up! I’m not done yet.
BFB: Do continue…[looks at ceiling longingly]
Alves: The pre game meals are a travesty. We need more Red Bulls and fewer healthy crackers. How am I supposed to survive on those things?
BFB: Is that it? Doesn’t seem that unreasonable.
Alves: More Bill Brasky episodes on SNL. He cornered the market on booze, but now what? I want a Fathead made in my likeness. Messi has one! Puyi even has one! Why not The Danster?
BFB: Again, those are fairly reasonable demands…
Alves: I want a baseball signed by Ty Cobb–he was such a gentleman!–and a football signed by him too. I’d like my contract to be written on papyrus. Fireworks should be set off whenever I successfully complete a cross–
BFB: That’s basically never…
Alves: [glares] All members of Barcelona must wear color-coded wristbands to denote years of service to the club so I know who to smile at and who to snarl at. Uttering the name of Maicon in public will result in a week in “the hole.” Also, establishment of “the hole,” which will just be the tiger cage used to transport Puyi from match to match. I think of this as a cost reduction because the club won’t have to provide food for Puyi anymore.
BFB: I just simply cannot understand why the club doesn’t accept these terms.
Alves: Me neither–hey! New demand: all snarky or sarcastic reporters get a month in “the hole”.
BFB: Anything else?
Alves: No, I think that’s it.
BFB: Okay, well, it was a pleasure speaking with you. If you’ll excuse me, I have a Dippin’ Dots party to attend to at Pique’s house.
Alves: Daaamn youuu Piqueeeee!!!
There’s so much random nonsense swirling around with this Alves contract that it’s basically useless discussing it in level-headed terms. It seems fairly clear that the club is contriving to make the discussion purely about economics–that is, Alves’ wage demands–while failing to discuss a) what he earns now and b) what kind of a raise moving up to the level of say, Pique or Xavi would entail. It’s a play for sympathy from the crowd, who are supposed to look at Alves as a mercenary of the lowest order: Ca$hley Cole and all that idiocy.
For those of you who are either new here or simply haven’t paid attention to how I think, I believe Alves has every right to make the demands he may or may not be making. I’m consistently on the side of the player because a) they’re human beings while their opposite is an institution and b) they have short shelf lives that require them to maximize their earnings in the short term. And yes, I recognize that section a of that last sentence will draw the ire of the “club first at all costs” crowd, especially given that I’m a Barcelona blogger, not a Dani Alves blogger, but before you excoriate me in the comments, you might think about this:
I’m not saying Barça should sign an extension with Alves at whatever cost. Giving him a large raise might very well be the wrong thing to do. My point is that Alves is not wrong for demanding more money and it’s not wrong for the club to reject that demand. What’s wrong is painting one of the sides as shady or negative simply for looking out for their own good. There’s was this whole notion of loyalty when the Wayne Rooney saga played out a few months ago. Luke put it pretty well in his post about it at the time, but I’ll go over a few of the details. Alves is not a Barça product, nor does he owe us, the fans, anything at all. He’s entertainment and as such, should demand a salary the market will support, much like no one called the Friends cast assholes for holding out for more money. Or well, at least I didn’t. That Chandler, worth every penny.*
In much the same vein, if Barça doesn’t want to meet his demands, there’s nothing wrong with that. I personally think he’s worth the same amount in terms of salary as Pique and Puyol (his back line mates) and probably actually the same as Xavi or Iniesta. But that’s me and I don’t have insight on the club’s finances (No one does! So much for transparency!) nor the negotiation process. Instead, we’re left with crumbs leaked to the media by various sources who obviously have their own agenda. The latest from Mundo Deportivo is that Alves has said no to being on the same level as Pique and Puyol; if that was really the final offer from Barça, then okay, so it goes. There should be no hard feelings towards either Alves or the club. If Alves can get seventeen pots of gold and a football helmet full of cottage cheese from Manchester City, then okay, great, best of luck to you. The weather in Manchester is supposed to be great this time of year.
The Busi contract negotiation is probably going much the same way, but instead of there being club-side recriminations, Busi is lauded as having possibly come to a deal with the club. For starters, Busi isn’t worth as much as Alves on the open market and secondly, he’s a Masia product, so tarring his name isn’t going to help anyone’s cause. Like the other canteranos, he’s protected from this whole drama because he’s “loyal” and he’s never going to leave home. But then again, Alves had to leave home years ago to ply his trade in Spain because he was unfortunate enough to be born in a city whose club finances weren’t up to the level of Barcelona’s. Messi, discovered younger, gets to remain “loyal” while demanding one of the top 2 salaries in the world. Xavi and Iniesta aren’t far behind and get to do the same. But Alves? Mercenary. And an injured one at that.
Moving on to the match at hand:
Racing Santander. 1-2-7 6GF, 20GA on the road. Their solitary road win was against Mallorca on December 12th. They opened the league season with a 0-3 home loss to Barça and never really got going in the first half. They’ve never beaten anyone above 9th (Mallorca) and otherwise haven’t beaten anyone above 13th. They’ve drawn away to Atleti (Jan 3) and Sevilla (Sept 23), in case you were wondering. They’ve only got one player with more than 1 goal to his name: Markus Rosenberg with 4. The other 11 goals are spread out across much of the team. Our very own Henrique is in there with a goal. So is the awesomely named Kennedy Bakırcıoğlu, a Turkish-Swede of Syriac speaking Assyrian origin. I don’t even know what that is, but it sounds awesome! (I don’t know what that is because I’m uneducated and I compounded that by not clicking on the Wiki link).
By now we all know that Jeffren is injured. So is Alves. And so is Puyol. El Capitan might make it in time, but the squad list isn’t out and I’m suddenly up against my deadline (I didn’t know it would take me that long to blather about Alves’ contract!) so I’m not going to research it anymore.
Predicted lineup: Valdes, Puyol, Pique, Abidal , Maxwell, Busi, Xavi, Iniesta, Villa, Messi, Pedro.
Official Prediction: 3-0. Once again we get through this one looking like absurdly talented millionaires. Because that’s who we are. It’ll be tough and it’ll down to getting a lucky break to start the scoring, but hey, we can do it and we can do it in front of the home crowd. Goals by Messi (2) and Afellay as a sub. You heard it here first, folks.
Game is at 2pmEST, GolTV and GolTV HD.
*I don’t know dick about Friends. I’m not even sure who Chandler is. Let me name, without Googling, all of the Friends characters I know: Chandler. And, Courtney Cox. And Jennifer Aniston. And that one weird looking girl. Phoebe? Then there’s Joey? And David Schwimmer. Did I get everyone? I’ve seen like 2 episodes. One where there’s like a dog in the apartment that’s not supposed to be there and one where Phoebe (?) is teaching someone else how to play the guitar and she only knows the chords via the way the hands look–Bear Claw, for instance.
I could do this exact thing with basically every other TV show from the early 90s, if you’d like.