Xavi praises Dani Alves' debut: His final pass makes the difference

The Brazilian made his second debut for Barça in the Maradona Cup

| sport

Xavi Hernandez was happy with what he saw on Tuesday even as Barcelona lost the Diego Maradona Cup to Boca Juniors on penalties.

Xavi named a largely inexperienced side for the game in Saudi Arabia, with the exception of Dani Alves, who made his second debut for the club after re-signing last month.

Alves impressed and Xavi was full of praise for the Brazilian, who will be available for competitive games from Jan. 1.

"You've seen what he can contribute in both defence and attack," Xavi said of Alves. "He plays with a lot of intensity and his final pass makes the difference.

"We all have to lift ourselves, me first of all, and Dani will help us with his experience. We've already seen the happiness he brings on the pitch.

"He's a sensational team player, with character and soul, and that will help us a lot. Riqui Puig, Eric Garcia and Philippe Coutinho also added a lot tonight."

Losing on penalties didn't bother the Barça coach: "The result's not the important thing. We go home with the positives, like Dani's debut and seeing players in different positions, young players. It was a good test for everyone.

"We've seen Balde at left-back and on the wing, Demir in midfield, Coutinho as a false striker, Dest in a position which isn't usual for him. It was a good test beyond the defeat."




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