Goal-king Alves

The 26-year-old Brazilian has been linked with Europe’s biggest clubs after a great season at Dutch side Heerenveen.

The Brazilian striker finished as top goalscorer of the Eredivisie with 34 goals in 31 matches, which is a club record. He managed four hat-tricks in the league and scored four in the final game against Feyenoord and is still in the race for the European Golden Shoe.

Alves started his career with Brazilian side Atletico Mineiro, but in 2002 he joined Swedish side Orgryte. In 2004 he joined Malmo and won the Swedish Champions title in his first season at the club. He joined Heerenveen in 2006 for 4.5 million euros and became the Pride of Friesland’s most expensive signing in the history of the club.

Ronaldinho told Swedish television channel SVT: “I am certain that we can expect a great future from Alves.”

Alves admitted that he was flattered by the praise from Ronaldinho and told Sportbladet: “It is superb for me that a star like Ronaldinho says these things about me. But I know that I must work very hard to get anywhere up to his level.”

Heerenveen president Koos Formsma told Sportbladet: “Afonso has a contract with us for another four years and we want and believe that he stay at the club.”

Barcelona are prepared to make a £25 million bid for Alves to bring him to the Camp Nou this summer. If a deal is agreed on, Swedish side Malmo FF will receive £2.5 million as a bonus payment. But it is believed Barcelona will face competition from Chelsea and the rest of the European giants.

See the 34 goals that Alves have scored this season in the Eredivisie in this video: