The Brazilian right-back, currently with PSG having become one of the most decorated players and won more than 100 caps for his country, was expected to join the Reds.
But Liverpool decided to pull the plug on the £9 million transfer and spend the money elsewhere – later bringing Jermaine Pennant and Alvaro Arbeloa to Anfield – and Alves has admitted he was preparing himself for a move to the five-time European champions.
Speaking in the December 2017 issue of FFT, he reveals: “I pretty much had an agreement with Liverpool. But for whatever reason it didn’t happen at the last moment and I really don’t know why, as I wasn’t the one conducting the negotiations. I had other people representing me back then.
“Something similar happened later in my career with Chelsea and Real Madrid. Of course, it all worked out happily for the Cules [Barcelona supporters] in the end, and also for me as I was able to write an amazing story at the Camp Nou instead.”
After securing back-to-back UEFA Cup triumphs with Sevilla, Alves departed for Barça in 2008 seeking bigger and better things, and wasn't disappointed: he lifted six La Liga titles, three Champions Leagues and three FIFA Club World Cups with the Catalan giants.
“I wanted to win things that I unfortunately couldn’t win if I stayed at Sevilla,” he explains. “We came close, but I don’t like to be just close. Six months before the transfer window opened I’d been told of Barça's interest, and I said I’d like to play for them because of the fine history of Brazilians there, the greatness of the club and the style of football.
"So it was a successful union and I will always be grateful to Pep Guardiola, [director of football] Txiki Begiristain and [president] Joan Laporta, as they gave me the opportunity to become a big star.”
Read the full interview with Dani Alves in the December 2017 issue of FourFourTwo magazine – a strikers special which features interviews with Gabriel Jesus and Alvaro Morata, and counts down the 30 greatest Premier League forwards ever. Also this month, we meet the father and son working wonders at Harrogate Town, find out if 3G pitches are the future of the Football League, and hear about the turmoil Tony Adams went through before, during and after Euro 96. Order a copy now, and then become a subscriber!
Thank you for reading 5 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access
Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1
*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription
Join now for unlimited access
Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1