Dani Alves feels Neymar is ‘misunderstood’ and needs to be trusted like Lionel Messi


Paris Saint-Germain are unlikely to be feeling any sense of regret over paying £200 million for Neymar in August 2017.

The Brazilian has since helped them to their fifth Ligue 1 title in six years, with a sixth triumph all but sewn up with eight matches remaining this season.

In Europe, though, Neymar has been unable to lead PSG beyond the first knockout round of the Champions League in his two attempts to date.

One would think this has to improve in the near future, with the Parisians’ owners - Qatar Sports Investments - keen to spread their domestic dominance across the continent.

While Neymar won’t be solely responsible for achieving such an enormous task, there’s no doubt he’ll be expected to make a significant contribution.

And that’s only at club level; never mind the additional pressure of being the main man for Brazil, too.

The 27-year-old is some way from being able to claim he’s realised his enormous potential, but it’s difficult to argue the ensuing criticism levelled at him is wholly justified.

Dani Alves - who has played with Neymar at PSG, Barcelona and Brazil - is convinced his teammate has it in him to singlehandedly bring success to whichever team he plays for.

He claims the forward is misunderstood and will only thrive once he’s trusted in the same way Lionel Messi is at the Nou Camp.


“Here, everyone has not yet understood Neymar,” Alves told RMC Sport, per Goal.

“When the ball is at the feet of this kind of player, there is like the scent of truffles.

“What's going on is like with Messi. Around Messi, there are other players.

“Here, we did not understand Neymar always gets and needs the ball and he gives you what you don't have. I give him the ball, and he does what he wants.

“Imagine I'm paying for an entrance to see a show. People need to understand, what do they want to see?

“If Messi loses the ball, we run to get it back and give it back to him [To let him] create things.

“People don't change, they get better, they take shots, they have to be smart, but they must not change the way they play, otherwise people will fall asleep. PSG has different players.”

Alves’ comments are particularly interesting amid the current talk of Neymar considering a move back to Spain with Real Madrid or Barcelona.

After all, he originally left Catalonia to escape Messi’s shadow and lead his own team.

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