The rivalry between Real Madrid and Barcelona is one of the greatest in football. The two teams often clash on the field in one of the most-watched matches on the planet, referred to as ‘El Clasico’. The rivalry reached epic proportions in the last decade with both teams having the best players in the line-up. Brazil defender Dani Alves used to have one of the most challenging assignments as a Barcelona player – to defend against Cristiano Ronaldo. Alves has disclosed how the Portuguese striker did not let him breathe even for a second.

“Cristiano Ronaldo, this ba**#$ doesn’t let you breathe for a second. I didn’t do too badly, but it’s difficult. He’s a scoring machine,” Alves said during an interaction with Marca.

The Brazilian right-back enjoyed a glorious first stint with Barcelona from 2008 to 2016. He was an integral part of Barcelona’s greatest team under Pep Guardiola. Needless to mention that the duel between Alves and Ronaldo, who played down the left flank for Real Madrid, enthralled fans and followers of the game.

Alves had joined Barcelona from Sevilla ahead of the 2008-09 season. In his first stint with the Catalan giants, Alves played 383 times. He won six La Liga titles during that period. Ronaldo, on the other hand, won the Spanish league twice while playing for Real Madrid.

In European football, Ronaldo enjoys a better track record. Ronaldo claimed four Champions League titles for the Los Blancos, while Alves won the much-coveted European title thrice with Barcelona.

In 2016, Alves left Barca and joined Italian football club Juventus. After completing one season in Serie A, Alves signed for Paris Saint-Germain. In 2021, he reunited with Barcelona. Though, his second stint with the Catalan giants did not prove to be a productive one. Alves could only manage to play 17 matches.

The 39-year-old, in July this year, was back in his home country to play for the club Pumas. Alves had signed one-year deal at the Brazilian football club.

“Before I ask for anything, I like to deliver. I have a year to prove myself with them. I wouldn’t have a problem [to extend]. I need to show them that I can [perform], that together we can build a very cool team in Mexico, that plays in a different way in which the young players can come through,” Alves explained.

Alves has represented Brazil in 121 matches. He has also has eight goals to his name in international football.

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