FC Barcelona and Dani Alves will be parting ways once more. The club has made the decision not to extend the veteran defender's contract beyond this summer, following an emotional surprise comeback in January.

The 39-year-old returned to the Camp Nou after six years away, with a clear mission to help former teammate and now manager Xavi Hernandez. The latter dropped his managerial position in Qatar to return to Barcelona in late 2021, in order to help lift the club from a rut that saw them languishing in the mid-table for the early part of the season.

Xavi's arrival opened the door for Alves, who was also very vocal about wanting to come back to help his beloved club. Xavi relied on him and the rest of the club's veterans to inject the Blaugrana DNA back into the squad, and they were miraculously able to secure second place in La Liga Santander.

dani alves
Dani Alves first left Barcelona in 2016 Getty

Albeit finishing without a single title last season, Xavi was certainly able to make numerous improvements on the pitch and they had a decent finish to the season. Alves made meaningful contributions especially earlier this year, but at 39, it is clear that Barcelona needs to invest more on their younger talent and the club's future.

As such, Alves says goodbye to the club once more, after first doing so in 2016 when he left Barcelona for Juventus. He took to social media to confirm his departure, saying in a statement [published in part]:

"Now the time of our goodbye has arrived. It has been more than 8 years dedicated to these colours and that house… but like everything in life, years go by, paths separate and stories are written from different places – and that's how it was. They tried to get rid of me but they couldn't, well, you can't imagine, or maybe you can, how resistant and resilient I am," he said, referring to his first departure.

"Many more years passed until football and life, which as always are very grateful to those who respect them, decided to give me the chance to return here and be able to say goodbye," he added, clearly referring to his second stint as sort of an encore and a proper goodbye. He then went on to thank the fans and everyone working behind the scenes at the club.

"I would also like to thank all the staff for the chance that they gave me to return to this club and be able to wear that marvellous shirt once again, they don't know how happy I am… let's hope they don't miss my craziness and happiness each day."

He then wished the best for the club, especially those who are staying on to help in the rebuilding efforts.

"A very beautiful cycle ends and another even more challenging one begins. Let the world never forget: EVEN IF A LION IS 39 YEARS OLD, IT CONTINUES TO BE A GOOD CRAZY LION. Forever, VISCA AL BARCA."

Jordi Alba (2ndL) and Dani Alves were both on the scoresheet for Barcelona AFP / LLUIS GENE