Veteran full-back Dani Alves said he 'insisted' on returning to Barcelona and wants his place back in the Brazil side ahead of the World Cup.
The defender was presented on Wednesday as a Barcelona player, returning to the Spanish club at age 38.
Barcelona said it reached an agreement in principle with Alves to finish out the rest of the season with the team. The Brazilian will arrive as a free agent after leaving Sao Paulo in September. He scored 23 goals in 391 games for Barcelona before he left to play for Juventus, Paris Saint-Germain, and then Sao Paulo.
He gave some details about how he arrived at Barcelona: "You may see me with a little less hair. But the will and the desire stay the same. I know what this club represents. The history it represents. Also its colors. And I accepted this challenge because I know what I can do for this team, not only inside but also outside the club. Like I've always done."
Alves also explained: "I didn't see it as an obligation (to return). But I rather saw the pleasure of doing it. And I started calling the president (Laporta), being very insistent. And maybe I became so insistent that he passed the phone to Xavi, telling him I was being away too obsessive! And in the end, I received Xavi's call telling me he was counting on me if it was my intention to come back."
"I was planning to come back to Europe. I didn't plan such a big surprise for myself. Such a wonderful surprise. And I know that I will increase my chances (of playing in the next World Cup) depending on my performance here in Barcelona. I will try to increase the chances of playing in the World Cup, so I can be summoned to the national team, getting there by working hard as I've always done", he finished.