Why Neymar Quit Barca

Neymar Jr

Paris Saint-Germain full-back Dani Alves has revealed that Neymar chose to leave Barcelona because he needed to step out from under Lionel Messi’s shadow.

The Brazilian forward became the most expensive player in football history when he moved to the Parc des Princes for a fee of £198million in the summer.

He has made a fine start to life at the French outfit, contributing 24 goals and 16 assists in 23 appearances, and team-mate Alves believes the move was crucial for his development.

‘I think he’s up there with (Lionel) Messi as the most influential player in world football,’ the former Barcelona right-back told FIFA.com when asked if he believed Neymar is ready to be the best player in the world.

‘The thing is, he had to come out of his shadow a little,’ Alves continued. ‘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 it’s him.

‘I always loved playing with him, but he’s an Argentine and Neymar and I are Brazilians. Sooner or later we had to come up against each other.

‘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.

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