Former Barcelona defender has made a shocking admission about teammate Neymar’s astronomical move from Camp Nou to the City of Lights.
To say what Neymar did during the summer transfer window shocked the world, would be an absolute understatement. The 25-year-old made a decision that many people agree and don’t agree with but he left Barcelona and in the process shattered everything, from the fact that you don’t leave Barcelona to the astronomical transfer fee. But he did what he did, and his PSG teammate Dani Alves believes that it was the right move.
The Brazilian made the summer transfer window his own personal soap opera, which dragged on for what seemed like weeks before he finally handed over a check for €222 million to Barcelona, despite reports of the La Liga ready to block the move. But everything went through and Neymar became the most expensive player in football history, annihilating the comparatively paltry sum of €90 million that Manchester United shelled out for Paul Pogba.
Since then, Neymar has gone on to shine in the Ligue 1 and with a massive haul of 26 goals in all competitions helped PSG re-establish themselves in the French league after they were toppled over by Monaco’s run to the title last season. The Brazilian did state that he made the move to get out from under the massive looming shadow of Lionel Messi’s achievements of Barcelona but also said that former Barcelona right-back Dani Alves was key to help him make his decision.
However, the three-time UEFA Champions League winner has played down any such role and even went on to say, “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,” added Alves in an interview with FIFA.
With Real Madrid superstar and five-time Ballon d’Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo turning a corner, Real Madrid and president Florentino Perez see Neymar, Eden Hazard, and Marco Asensio as the perfect like-for-like replacement for the 32-year-old. However, while Asensio still needs time to develop into a complete player, both Neymar and Hazard are top targets for Los Blancos
The 34-year-old right back further added, “I think he’s up there with Messi as the most influential player in world football. 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.”
Losing Neymar was a massive blow to Barcelona and while they did manage to overcome it thanks to the likes of Lionel Messi and even manager Ernesto Valverde holding the fort, the Brazilian was a key part of their side. For Neymar however, doing this well at PSG has proven a point that he wanted to prove and maybe if they win the treble, including the Champions League the 25-year-old has a chance at his very first Ballon d’Or.