Paris Saint-Germain full-back Dani Alves has discussed why it was important for Neymar to make his high profile switch away from Barcelona to Paris - admitting that the 25-year-old had to step out of Lionel Messi's shadow in order to prove himself.
While rumours float around that Neymar is being lined up by Spanish heavyweights Real Madrid, the Brazilian's stats at the Parc des Princes state quite well that he is happy to remain where he is - scoring 26 goals and registering 14 assists in 24 matches.
while many initially questioned the world record move to PSG, the tricky winger has proven the doubters wrong once again, and teammate Dani Alves has admitted that this move was something that Neymar needed to do:
"I think he’s up there with Messi as the most influential player in world football." Alves said about Neymar, whilst talking to FIFA.com.
"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.
"I think you’ve got a better chance of achieving things individually when you’re not so close to a player like him. It was important for Ney’s own development and for Brazil for him to follow his own path."
While the two players are both teammates in Brazil's national team, as well as previous teammates from their days at Barcelona, Alves claims that he had nothing to do with Neymar's decision to join PSG - admitting that it was solely the attacker's decision.
"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.
"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.