Dani Alves: 'What FC Barcelona has achieved is huge'

Dani Alves speaking at an event for Hepatitis C on Tuesday / VÍCTOR SALGADO-FCB
The Brazilian is also confident that his team are going to carry on delivering more success to their supporters

The double celebrations over, Dani Alves can look back on a truly remarkable season. Never one to play things down, the Brazilian says that “I would not give Barça ten marks. I’d give us 1,000. What this team has done, is doing and will continue to do is huge!”

He was attending a corporate event in his role as ambassador for the fight against Hepatitis C, through which he is supporting 1,000 treatments of the condition (500 in Brazil, 250 in Spain and 250 in Bolivia). “I am happy and I shall always be happy at Barça, because Barça has captured my heart” he said at the event held in one of the lounges at the Camp Nou.

Alves went on to explain that “I have been having plantar fasciitis trouble for six months, but that hasn’t stopped me from playing … I have never felt that I was an automatic starter in this team, but I always do as well as I can in my position. I never like losing and that’s why I’m so competitive. I always try to offer my best, whether I am picked to play or not.”

Looking back at the campaign in general, the full-back comments that “there are always drops in form and we were caught unawares, but we ended up winning titles and we can feel proud of our hard work. The team that wins the league is the team that works the hardest. We should feel proud and happy to have kept winning for so many years,”

Finally, Alves was asked for his views on next weekend’s Champions League Final. “I’d prefer Atlético Madrid to win” he admitted. “They deserve a title like this.”

Neymar Jr comes face to face with his Madame Tussauds figure

One is the wax figure and one is the real thing - but which?
This summer, the model of FC Barcelona’s Brazilian superstar will be travelling to Orlando, where it will be a permanent exhibit

Neymar Jr. met his Madame Tussauds wax figure this week in a private unveiling at the Ciutat Esportiva Joan Gamper in Spain. The new figure will travel to its permanent home in Orlando this summer.

The Barça player was very involved with the creation of his figure. He met with Madame Tussauds artists to have measurements taken in Barcelona, and even got to choose his double’s pose. He finally opted for his goal celebration from the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, a moment that is especially dear to him. The figure is outfitted in a Brazilian national team kit donated by the soccer star himself.

“I’m looking at my twin brother!” said Neymar upon meeting his figure. It is truly an honor to have such an important moment of my life captured in wax by the amazing team at Madame Tussauds,” Neymar said, before adding that “I cannot wait for my fans all over the world to meet my wax twin in Orlando!”

Madame Tussauds is world-renowned for the creation of detailed and lifelike wax figures that pay homage to A-list celebrities from film and television, sports icons, musicians from all genres, and notable figures from history and pop culture. Each figure is created by teams of professional artists and sculptors who spend months on extensive research and take more than 300 measurements to achieve astonishing realism.

Neymar Jr: 'I'm very happy at this club. I'm a Barça man!'

Neymar Jr with his son on Monday night at the Camp Nou / MIGUEL RUIZ - FCB
The Brazilian is one of the stars of the night that the FC Barcelona supporters get to honour their double-winning heroes in wonderful style

FC Barcelona bade farewell to a remarkable season on Monday night with a festival of sound, light and plenty of fireworks in honour of its double-winning football team. The event also recognised the domestic doubles won by the handball and roller hockey teams, as well as hailing another marvellous year for the women’s football team and the many youth football teams.

We are the Champions!

The Camp Nou was treated to a night of emotions and spectacle – capped when the football squad appeared one by one, in order of shirt numbers, to rapturous cheers from the adoring crowds. Luis Enrique and his staff were also honoured in a fitting tribute to all the hard work they do, and which so often goes unnoticed behind the scenes.

But the star attractions were the footballers, fresh from Copa del Rey victory in Madrid less than 24 hours earlier. And one of the ones who received the loudest applause was Neymar Jr, scorer of the second goal at the Vicente Calderón, who hailed that “it’s an honour to share trophies with this team and the fans. I am very happy at this club. I am a Barça man!”

And we’ll keep on fighting…

Andrés Iniesta also took to the microphone, saying that “it is an honour to play for this team. We have won a lot but we want to win more and make history.” Javier Mascherano added that “I hope next season is as good as this one. It was difficult and competitive but we got there in the end.” And Dani Alves made a point of thanking former captain Xavi, telling the crowd that “I knew that this number means dedication and that I would defend these colours as they should be defended”

Coach Luis Enrique got another of the biggest receptions of the evening, apologising for the players that were unable to attend for different reasons and then commenting that “it has been a long season, tough and demanding but we have got through it in excellent fashion with such a great set of players and staff.”

To the end!

Celebrations like this are becoming common place of late at the Camp Nou, and may things remain that way! With 28 titles won in the last decade, the legend just keeps growing. The night erupted in a sea of red and blue confetti and pyrotechnics and so the curtain came down on another triumphant season at FC Barcelona. After the summer , it all starts again!

LIVE – FC Barcelona celebrates double at Camp Nou

double
From 9.15pm CET, live coverage as the Camp Nou honours the Liga and Copa del Rey champions, as well as the youth football, handball and roller hockey teams

Starting at 9.15pm CET, a live broadcast from the Camp Nou as the players and fans celebrate the Liga title won in Granada a week ago and the Copa del Rey conquered in Madrid on Sunday. The championship winning youth football, handball and roller teams will also be honoured at what promises to be fantastic evening all round! Make sure you’re watching!

A captain's performance from Iniesta in the cup final

Andrés Iniesta kissing the cup in the Vicente Calderón / MIGUEL RUIZ - FCB
The blaugrana midfielder gave a stellar exhibition in the Calderón as he claimed his 28th trophy in a Barça shirt, a total only matched by his team mater Leo Messi

Andrés Iniesta’s football recital in the Vicente Calderón against Sevilla was one of the many reasons that Luis Enrique’s team came out on top in the Copa del Rey final. The game needed a figure to wrest control of the midfield away from Unai Emery’s side following the red card for Javier Mascherano. That was when the Barça captain came into his own, masterminding the blaugranes’ victory alongside Leo Messi. Not even injury to Luis Suárez could deny FC Barcelona a win that will go down in the history books as a triumph in the face of adversity.

Winning his 28th trophy as a blaugrana, only team mate Leo Messi has as many honours in a Barça shirt, Andrés Iniesta lifted the trophy on the same day he tied Carles Puyol for second place on the team’s all-time appearances list. Sunday’s final was the midfielder’s 593rd appearance for FC Barcelona. The only person still ahead of Iniesta in games played is Barça legend Xavi Hernández, who appeared in 767 matches from 2000 to 2015. The midfielder from La Mancha without doubt wrote his own little bit of history on Sunday night in the Vicente Calderón.

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