Dani Alves suits up for Barcelona for the first time in five years

There were some surreal scenes in Saudi Arabia on Tuesday evening, as returning Barcelona player Dani Alves suited up for the club for the first time since re-joining the club. Alves was called back to Spain by his former teammate Xavi Hernandez, who took over as the club’s new managers just a few weeks ago. Alves won’t be eligible to play for Barcelona in an official competition until January, but he was allowed to play in the Maradona Cup friendly against Boca Juniors.

The Brazilian right-back returned to Barcelona five and a half years since he left the club to join Juventus FC. It was widely believed that he was winding down his career towards retirement, but he shocked even himself by agreeing to return and help the club regain its former glory.

Unfortunately, they lost the friendly exhibition 4-2 on penalties against Boca Juniors, after regulation time ended in a 1-1 draw. The event was organised as a tribute to the late Diego Armando Maradona, with Barcelona going up against the Argentine giants.

Regardless of the disappointing result, Alves was a bright light on the pitch that would have certainly delighted Xavi. He had one of the first touches of the match, and he was very actively involved throughout. He held his position firmly at right-back, but also managed to advance centrally to help the attack.