Dani Alves jokes that Paris Saint-Germain are still Champions League “virgins”, but the presence of players like himself only helps make them more credible contenders to win the trophy.
In a glittering career, Alves has won the Champions League three times with Barcelona and reached another final with Juventus.
He is a veteran now, his 36th birthday falling several weeks before this season’s final, and he is conscious of what players like him and goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon, now 41, can add to a PSG squad already featuring Neymar and Kylian Mbappe.
“We know how to win and how to lose. What we try to transmit to the others is that either we all go together in the same direction, or we leave the doors open to a defeat,” Alves tells AFP in an exclusive interview.
He is speaking at the club’s training ground in the upmarket Paris suburb of Saint-Germain-en-Laye, 48 hours before their last 16, second leg at home to Manchester United.
The mood is relaxed, with confidence high in Paris that Thomas Tuchel‘s side will make good their 2-0 first-leg win last month, achieved without Neymar and Edinson Cavani, the two superstars both out injured.
“This is not a competition that depends only on one player having a spectacular day,” he insists.
“When you have experienced players, you don’t tremble when it comes to playing in a hostile atmosphere, or under pressure.”