BRASILIA, Aug 3 ― After 17 years playing for the top clubs in Europe, Brazil captain Dani Alves has decided to return home, signing a three-year deal with Sao Paulo.
A free agent after his contract with French champions Paris Saint-Germain expired in June, Alves explained his decision on a Twitter video posted on the club website.
“I could have picked any team to play for but I chose to return to Brazil, to my country, my people, to the club that I love,” said the 36-year-old who has been in Europe since he signed for Sevilla in 2002.
The right back went on to play for Barcelona, Juventus and PSG, collecting nine national league titles along the way -- six in Spain, one in Italy and two in France.
He has collected 40 trophies in all with club and country including three Champions League titles with Barcelona and two Uefa Cups with Sevilla.
He has also won two Copa Americas with Brazil, most recently in July when he was named player of the tournament as he captained them to victory over Peru in the final at the Maracana in Rio de Janeiro.
“Once, I told Daniel that he would come to play at Sao Paulo, the club of his heart,” said club president Carlos Augusto de Barros e Silva in a statement.
“Today I have the immense joy and pride to have kept that promise.”
Sao Paulo, the former club of 1994 World Cup winner Rai, now the general manager, and legendary goalkeeper Rogerio Ceni, are currently fifth in the Brazilian championship. ― AFP