Alves: ‘Neymar had to come out of Messi’s shadow’

The Paris-Saint Germain right back says a player has a greater chance of achieving individual glories when not close to a player like Lionel Messi.

Neymar and Lionel Messi (right) in Barcelona colours before the Brazil national moved to Paris-Saint Germain.   -  GETTY IMAGES

Brazil footballer Dani Alves — who represented big clubs like Barcelona and now, Paris-Saint Germain (PSG) — rates Neymar as one of the most influential players in world football, along with Lionel Messi, but believes his compatriot needed to come out of Messi’s shadow to carve his own path.

“The thing is, he had to come out of his shadow a little. Playing with someone as unique as Leo is the most incredible thing that can happen to you, but there’s always that doubt in your mind if it’s you that really has the quality or if it’s him,” he told

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Alves added how he loved playing with Messi. “He’s Argentinian and Ney and I are Brazilians. Sooner or later, we had to come up against each other (laughs). I think you’ve got a better chance of achieving things individually when you’re not so close to a player like him,” he stated.

The 34-year-old, however, clarified that he had nothing to do with Neymar’s move to PSG. “I hardly had anything to do with it, though I was involved when he signed for Barcelona. I gave him some advice and told him about all the good things I’d experienced at the club and in the city. But it wasn’t like that this time. It was just a case of me getting here before him, though there was a moment when he was unsure about what to do. I just told him to follow his heart and be happy. That was the only advice I gave him,” said Alves.

The duo will be keen to continue their on-field partnership for Brazil at the FIFA World Cup later this year.

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