Defiant Dani Alves determined to speak his mind


Barcelona defender Dani Alves says he will always speak up if he has an opinion about something regardless of whether people like it or not and is still unhappy with the way some members of the media cover the game.

The Brazil international made headlines when slamming the Spanish press last month, accusing them of using players for their own benefit.

Barcelona distanced themselves from the comments, while the Spanish Sports Press Association (AEPD) threatened legal action against the 32-year-old, but the right-back has stressed he will continue to offer his opinion if he feels like it.

"I don't like a lot of what surrounds football. I like the sport itself, but there's currently too much 'tabloid-style' reporting around, and that takes a bit of the enjoyment out of the game," he said.

"We're always in the eye of the hurricane. By a certain type of press, we're judged and pre-judged. It used to be what happened on the pitch that generated interest, now it's what happens off it.

"I am more confrontational now than before because I get a bit tired of it all. I enjoy talking about football much more, about what players do on the pitch. Players earn their wages, their livelihoods and their right to compete to win things out on the pitch and not off it.

"But then, when you express an opinion it's frowned upon, because people are only capable of receiving praise, never criticism. Even if it's your humble opinion, you know.

"But well, if I think something, whether it'll go down well or badly, I'll always say it. I'm a free man and free to give my opinion too."

Barcelona are away to Arsenal in the first leg of their Champions League round-of-16 tie on Tuesday.