Alves explains why Barcelona sold Alexis Sanchez

Barcelona full back Dani Alves has explained why Alexis Sanchez had to leave Barca for Arsenal in the summer of 2014.

Arsenal forward Alexis Sanchez is in for another emotional night as the Gunners take on his former employers Barcelona in their Champions League rematch on Wednesday night.

After finding game time limited during his stay at Camp Nou due to the arrival of the likes of Neymar, Sanchez moved to London in 2014 in search of greener pastures.

He was able to find just that under Arsene Wenger, whom he described as “a great manager,” and Arsenal whom he saw as “a fantastic squad of players, huge support around the world and a great stadium in London.”

He and Mesut Ozil have quickly emerged as the Londoner’s best players. Nonetheless, Sanchez has not been able to amass nearly as much silverware as he had in Spain following his move to England.

In fact, apart from the 2014/15 FA Cup, the only other trophy he has won with Wenger’s side is the Community Shield, a contest that is classified as no more than a glorified friendly.

With Barca, on the other hand, the Chilean had won La Liga, Copa del Rey, UEFA Super Cup, Spanish Super Cup and Club World Cup.

Sanchez vs Alves
Barcelona defender Dani Alves tries to contain Arsenal’s Alexis Sanchez during the first leg of their Champions League tie at the Emirates in on Feb 23 2016. Barcelona won 2-0, leaving Arsenal needing to score three plus in the Camp Nou rematch on March 16.

So why did Alexis Sanchez leave such world-beaters as Barcelona to come and scrap around for silverware in England?

Former Barcelona teammate Dani Alves, whom Sanchez will face on Wednesday as the clubs meet for the second leg of their UCL last 16 tie, seems to have the answer.

According to the Brazilian, Sanchez needs to be the protagonist in any team he plays for, which he couldn’t be at Camp Nou.

“Alexis didn’t fail at Barcelona but it’s hard to play here because you have to understand the playing idea,” Alves explained to the Daily Mail.

“He’s a great player and I always knew that he would be a success when he left, especially if he went somewhere he would be the protagonist. He’s the kind of player who needs that.

“In the end, you are going to have the protagonism anyway but you have to understand that, at Barcelona, it’s not enough just to be a great player.


“You need to have a great understanding of the way Barcelona play and, if you do, then you will have a long career here.

“Those that come and go, that doesn’t mean they are bad players.

“They go somewhere else and they enjoy it because they are beasts, but at Barcelona it’s not enough just to be a beast of a player.”

Arsene Wenger knows Sanchez will be key on Wednesday night as the Gunners set out to overturn a two-goal deficit against Barcelona in Spain. The Chilean has netted 11 goals in 31 apps for Arsenal in 2015/16.

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