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What Danni Alves said about Lionel Messi

The Brazilian is still the player who has provided Messi with more assists than anyone else, two-and-a-half years on from leaving BarcelonaDani Alves says his connection with Lionel Messi at Barcelona helped teach him what football really meant.

The right-back remains the player to have assisted the most of Messi's 564 Barca goals despite leaving the club for Juventus two-and-a-half years ago.

He's since moved on to Paris Saint-Germain, but has kept his connection with Messi and Barca close to his heart, and says the he was "in charge" of giving the Argentinean star the ball, as well as knowing the secret way to treat him.

"I did all I could to serve him, to make sure he was happy and to make sure he had the ball all the time, which is what he loves most," Alves told an exclusive interview with Sky Sports as he promoted the new film about Pep Guardiola's Barcelona, 'Take The Ball, Pass The Ball'.

It's like a child when you give him his first present. You give him a football and he plays with it all day. I was in charge of making sure the ball was always at his feet."

Alves added that his understanding with Messi almost verged on the telepathic.

"It was very strange because from the time I arrived at Barcelona, from the first day, we had this very, very, very, very weird connection - I mean that in a positive way," he said.

"I remember the first game we played together as if it was today. We were doing one-twos all the time, we understood each other with no more than a little look. We knew exactly where the other one was."It was surprising for me because I came from Sevilla, from a totally different style of football to Barcelona.

"In that moment, that connection with Leo, it was like setting off fireworks. I said to myself, 'Wow, I'm going to play here for a club which defends what the word football really means' ."
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