Following months of criticism levelled at Paris Saint-Germain superstar Neymar, the Brazilian forward's former club teammate Dani Alves has shared a strong statement in the forward's defence.
Alves appeared on Saturday night television show Grande Círculo in his native Brazil when he leaped to the defence of Neymar, who has come in for extensive criticism following the transfer saga linking him with a return to FC Barcelona in the latest window.
"I always give advice to Ney," Alves revealed, as reported by AS.
"I think, and I tell him, that he has a responsibility with many people, and, for me, he should position himself. He knows what I think. I speak openly, because he knows he and I have spoken many times.
"Ney has the responsibility from the moment he became a reference for children, for other athletes. When you start having this responsibility, you cannot disappoint them. Then you have to show your face.
"… Today the most important player in Brazilian football is Neymar. He has to face (the critics) because he is in a position where he has to position himself and people have to understand who Ney is, how he thinks, and they need to start learning to respect him.
"… He is a very sensitive person. He is affected by many things, and many things are sometimes unfair.
"That's why I appreciate you having to position yourself, because when they say something that isn't right about you, you have to face (them). People have to learn to respect Neymar."
Neymar and Alves have played together for Brazil since 2010, and were former teammates at both PSG and Barcelona.
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