Bruno Alves has no Rangers regrets as he lifts lid on incredible defensive stat
Portuguese veteran is flying high in Italy with Parma two years on from his disappointing season at Ibrox.by Fraser Wilson, https://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/authors/fraser-wilson/
Former Rangers defender Bruno Alves has lifted the lid on the old school training regime which has helped him become the most aerial dominant stopper in all of Europe’s top 5 leagues.
Alves is flying high with Parma in Serie A at the tender age of 38 despite admitting he struggled to transition to life at Rangers during his season in Glasgow.
The veteran insists has no regrets about being the marquee signing of Pedro Caixhina ’s failed Portu-Mex experiment in Govan.
But he left midway through a two-year deal after Caixinha was axed and having made only 25 appearances during an injury-hit spell in Scotland.
Two years on and Alves has become a mainstay of Roberto D’Aversa’s Parma backline to the point where he has won more aerial duels than any other defender in Europe’s big five leagues.
Alves has recorded a 78.4 per cent success rate - four per cent better than his nearest rival Liverpool’s Virgil Van Dijk.
Now he is back in training preparing for the resumption of the Serie A campaign next month.
And, speaking to talkSPORT he he had no regrets over his time at Rangers: “Glasgow was an amazing experience for me.
“It gave me the chance to experience different things and bring my family to Scotland.
“It was amazing to make new friendships and to know the club. It is a very big club.
“I was in a moment of transition - it was not easy for me - but it was a very positive experience.”
Asked how he manages to remain so aerially dominant in his advanced years, Alves continued: “Three factors can help you - experience, the game style of the team and my training.
“I come from an old school of defending that always attack the ball.
“So as part of my routine I do one or two training sessions a week on heading. It’s like strikers, if they don’t do shooting training then how are they going to score?
“So I have always had this routine to work on heading. When I was training with my father it was about how you reach the ball at the highest point and attack it.
“It’s a mentality from the old school of training that has helped me so much.”
The 96-times capped Portugal icon admits he can’t wait to return to action after spending the past two months idle along with the rest of world football.
“We returned to training last week,” he said. “We had one day off and we start again next week.
“The date for the start of the league is June 14. I’m really happy in the hope we can finish the league.
“There’s mixed feelings. A lot of players are concerned but a lot of players want to play - this is our job and what we love to do.
“After two months of being home we can be more free doing what we love most.”