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Friday, 2 June 2017

'A full-back is everybody's friend' – on Dani Alves and Marcelo, Brazil's Chuckle Brothers

There are other attacking full-backs, but few near their level and none who make more compelling demands for your attention. 53 trophies between them, most of them in Europe's toughest competitions, tell some of the story, but their true greatness is to be located in the heart. To watch Marcelo and Dani Alves play is to remember why you fell in love with football in the first place.


There is a wide-eyed, forward-facing innocence to their play. It is there in every foray down the flank, every daft bit of skill, every laser-guided cross. Every celebration and off-field interaction, too: Alves is what Brazilians would call brincalhão – a joker, a goofball – and Marcelo is no shrinking violet. They are serious competitors and seriously good at their jobs, but neither fact quells the feelgood factor. Nor should it, either.

Read my pre-Champions League final piece on the two players who, more than any others, make full-back fun on the Eurosport website.

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