Dani Alves loved playing against Arsenal when he was at Barcelona.
The Brazilian wing back was an instrumental part of the 2011 Barcelona, one of the greatest club sides to play football.
As Arsenal fans will recall, it was during that time that we became very well acquainted with Barcelona. Not only were they chasing after our players, we kept drawing them in the Champions League as well.
Those ties ended with Barcelona going through, usually after a completely dominant performance at the Camp Nou.
It was those games that Alves enjoyed the most, as he felt Arsenal made it easier for Barcelona to play their game.
“Well, we definitely liked to face Arsenal,” he told Four Four Two.
“They had a similar football style to ours, and this sometimes helped to facilitate our way of playing.
“We were drawn against them several times with a positive outcome. They were a team we dominated and had a control over. Every time we faced Arsenal, we’d have a good result or good performance.”
He would have certainly enjoyed Barcelona’s visit to the Emirates Stadium in 2009.
Despite the 2-2 scoreline, Barcelona gave us a lesson in how to keep the ball, while Alves had complete freedom on the right flank. He was found time and time again.
It was in the return leg of that game that Lionel Messi scored a hat-trick before half-time, and ended the game with four goals to his name.
The two sides met again in 2011. Arsenal won the home leg 2-1, but lost in the Camp Nou again.
The most recent clash was in 2016, with Arsenal losing both legs and barely putting up a fight.
The recurring theme in all those games was that no matter how well Arsenal players performed, Barcelona’s ridiculous quality up front proved decisive.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez, David Villa, Neymar – just take your pick.
Alves has since moved on to Paris St. Germain, and won’t be coming up against Arsenal in Europe this season.