Ahead of Tuesday's crunch Champions League last-16 second leg encounter between Barcelona and AC Milan, Camp Nou defender Dani Alves has given an interview to the Spanish newspaper 'El Mundo' under the surprising headline "We've lost our hunger". With speculation rife about the management of team affairs at the Catalan club - coach Tito Vilanova is currently in New York due to illness, leaving number two Jordi Roura in temporary charge - the Brazilian full-back also insisted: "This team cannot run itself. An orchestra without a conductor doesn't work. We haven't lost our magic but we have lost intensity."
Alves also discussed team-mate Lionel Messi's state of mind, declaring: "Leo has seemed a bit down recently. Why? I don't know. And if it isn't something he wants to share, who am I to ask?"
The Brazil international also spoke to UEFA.com, and was optimistic about his side's chances of overcoming their 2-0 first-leg defeat at the San Siro to progress to the quarter-finals. He said: "If we play to our level, we have every chance of going through. We have great players so this tie won't be decided until the referee blows the final whistle. This is the kind of challenge that is tailor-made for great teams to rise to."