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Dani Alves has revealed the secret behind his former team-mate Lionel Messi’s success. The duo were at Barcelona during the wonder years, under Pep Guardiola, but according to Alves it is the Argentinian superstar’s ability to perfect his already incredible skills that makes him the best in the world.

Speaking to the Times, the Paris Saint-Germain defender praised Guardiola’s vision for their success at Barcelona. But he made sure he distributed praise equally between his boss and genius team-mate Messi.

Alves, 35, said: “Our great connection wasn’t just about us being good at what we did. “At Barcelona we had a lot of great ‘executors’, but we also had great understanders of football- people who understood the concepts. ‘Ah, if my team-mate gives the ball in this position, I’ll give it back to him here, because I know he’ll be making that run’.

“It was an amazing connection with so much synergy. When we connected, our opponents didn’t stand a chance.”

No player had provided Messi with more assists in La Liga than Alves, until last month. Luis Suarez has now trumped his 26 assists, by providing his 27th when Barcelona faced Valencia.

Alves is an undeniably special player and has lifted more trophies than any other active player, but he his full of praise for the other half of the dangerous duo, from his Barcelona years.

Speaking about the secret behind Messi’s success, Alves said: “The hardest thing isn’t just doing it; it’s going back and doing it again, better than you did it before.

“Not many people have that ability. I believe that Messi is one of the few. He does something, then does it better, then does it better again.

“In that way, he has maintained his level for a long time. People are born with a gift, but they have to perfect it. The real key to his success is the perfecting of his gift.”

The Argentine ace has been hailed as somewhat of a magician thanks to his goal scoring exploits and boasts five Ballon d’Ors as a result.


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