Paris Saint-Germain fullback Dani Alves has revealed why he believes the world’s most expensive player in history Neymar had to step out of Lionel Messi’s shadow at FC Barcelona.
Click through the gallery to see images of Messi and Neymar's relationship since 2013!
Many speculated that Neymar switched to PSG at the start of the season to take on the role of being the club’s star player, something the 25-year-old denied at the time of his move.
However, Dani Alves believes his countryman has done exactly that by joining the French giants, insisting it was key for Neymar to step out of Messi’s shadow.
“I think he’s up there with (Lionel) Messi as the most influential player in world football,” he told 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 always loved playing with him, but 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.
“It was important for Ney’s own development and for Brazil for him to follow his own path.”
Neymar has been sensational since arrival in France, scoring 26 goals and assisting a further 16 strikes in 24 games.
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