Alves refuses to return to Sao Paulo over unpaid $3.4m wage bill

September 13 – In a row over unpaid wages, Daniel Alves and Sao Paulo have parted ways. The 38-year-old is owed about $3.4 million in unpaid wages by his club.

The veteran defender returned to Brazil after a long and distinguished career in Europe to play for his boyhood club, but after the international window with Brazil the full-back didn’t return to training.

“We were informed by agents that Daniel Alves will not return to Sao Paulo until the financial debts Sao Paulo has with the athlete are solved. Sao Paulo recognises the debts and last week made an offer seeking to adjust that, but the agents did not accept,” said Sao Paulo’s director of football Belmonte.

Brazilian media report that the club owe Alves about $3.4 million. “We made the decision and told coach Hernan Crespo that Daniel Alves will no longer be available to play for Sao Paulo,” said Alves’ representatives.

Alves joined Sao Paulo in 2019 for a monthly salary of $285,000, but the club, burdened with $114 million of debt, were not able to comply with their contractual obligations. Alves featured 95 times for Sao Paulo, scoring 10 goals.

Unpaid wages are a common occurrence in Brazilian football, but it hasn’t prevented veteran players winding up their careers from returning to the South American League. Last week, former Arsenal and Chelsea defender David Luiz reached an agreement with Rio giants Flamengo and Hulk, who spent much of his career at FC Porto, Zenit Saint Petersburg and Shanghai SIPG, has been in blistering form for league leaders Atletico Mineiro.

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