Why is Alves chasing more money? Because he's worth it

The last coach to beat Barcelona at the Nou Camp was Esteban Vigo of Hercules. Asked recently for his plan for shutting down the most prolific team in football, he touched on the question of man-marking Lionel Messi. "There is no point," he said. "You man-mark Messi, then you have to man-mark Xavi, and Villa and Iniesta and Pedro... and then Alves scores."

A killer pass, pulled back from the byline, is actually more likely than a goal from the Brazilian full-back but Vigo is right about Barcelona's No 2 and his incredible influence on the way his team break the opposition down.

Sides that are not undone by the intricate passing of Xavi, Andres Iniesta or the lethal finishing of Messi, Pedro and David Villa – who have scored 82 goals in all competitions this season – will probably be opened up by Daniel Alves.

No defender has a higher assist rate in European football but it is his rather confused status at the club that has muddied the waters of his contract renewal. Barça want him in the same earnings bracket as their top defenders but the player wants to be recognised in the same way as the team's creative attackers such as Xavi and Iniesta. Manchester City will whisk him away at the end of the season if he refuses to sign what is on the table – an offer that the club are not interested in improving.

Chelsea's need for a right-back could also put them in the hunt if Roman Abramovich spends big again in the pre-season. "I can't imagine Alves without Barcelona," said the player last week. But more worryingly for Barcelona fans, he added: "I want to carry on at Barça, but I'm not sure everyone here wants me to."

The stalemate shows no signs of being broken. The club have offered him ¤6 million (£5.1m) a year – parity with World Cup winners Gerard Pique and Carles Puyol – in a deal that would run until 2015. The Arsenal test is another opportunity to show why he believes he is worth more than those two defenders.

On Tuesday he will once again spend more time in the opposition's half than in his own as Barcelona go chasing the game. It will create a problem for Arsenal defensively but it might just give them an advantage.

Late in games, Alves's sprints back towards his own goal are slower than his forward raids. When Andrei Arshavin lashed Samir Nasri's pass into the net to win the first leg for Arsenal, Alves could be seen trotting back, still yards from the Russian when he scored. Arsène Wenger will hope for more of the same on Tuesday.

Arsenal in the Champions' League

1998-99 Group stage

1999-00 Group stage

2000-01 Quarter-final (lost to Valencia)

2001-02 Second phase

2002-03 Second phase

2003-04 Quarter-final (lost to Chelsea)

2004-05 Knockout round (lost to Bayern Munich)

2005-06 Runners-up (lost to Barcelona)

2006-07 Knockout round (lost to PSV)

2007-08 Quarter-final (lost to Liverpool)

2008-09 Semi-final (lost to Manchester Utd)

2009-10 Quarter-final (lost to Barcelona)

Home P68 W44 D16 L8 F137 A52

Away P67 W23 D18 L26 F80 A79

Neutral P1 W0 D0 L1 F1 A2

Total P136 W67 D34 L35 F218 A133

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

A groundbreaking study of 'Britain's Atlantis' long buried at the bottom of the North Sea could revolutionise how we see our prehistoric past

Britain's Atlantis

Scientific study beneath North Sea could revolutionise how we see the past
The Queen has 'done and said nothing that anybody will remember,' says Starkey

The Queen has 'done and said nothing that anybody will remember'

David Starkey's assessment
Oliver Sacks said his life has been 'an enormous privilege and adventure'

'An enormous privilege and adventure'

Oliver Sacks writing about his life
'Gibraltar is British, and it is going to stay British forever'

'Gibraltar is British, and it is going to stay British forever'

The Rock's Chief Minister hits back at Spanish government's 'lies'
Britain is still addicted to 'dirty coal'

Britain still addicted to 'dirty' coal

Biggest energy suppliers are more dependent on fossil fuel than a decade ago
Orthorexia nervosa: How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition

Orthorexia nervosa

How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition
Lady Chatterley is not obscene, says TV director

Lady Chatterley’s Lover

Director Jed Mercurio on why DH Lawrence's novel 'is not an obscene story'
Farmers in tropical forests are training ants to kill off bigger pests

Set a pest to catch a pest

Farmers in tropical forests are training ants to kill off bigger pests
Mexico: A culture that celebrates darkness as an essential part of life

The dark side of Mexico

A culture that celebrates darkness as an essential part of life
Being sexually assaulted was not your fault, Chrissie Hynde. Don't tell other victims it was theirs

Being sexually assaulted was not your fault, Chrissie Hynde

Please don't tell other victims it was theirs
A nap a day could save your life - and here's why

A nap a day could save your life

A midday nap is 'associated with reduced blood pressure'
If men are so obsessed by sex, why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?

If men are so obsessed by sex...

...why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?
The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3

Jon Thoday and Richard Allen-Turner

The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3
The bathing machine is back... but with a difference

Rolling in the deep

The bathing machine is back but with a difference
Part-privatised tests, new age limits, driverless cars: Tories plot motoring revolution

Conservatives plot a motoring revolution

Draft report reveals biggest reform to regulations since driving test introduced in 1935