Neymar is special and will show it at the World Cup, insists Dani Alves

The experienced defender believes his Barcelona team-mate and compatriot did well in his first season in Spain and can prove his talents on the biggest stage in Brazil this summer
Barcelona defender Dani Alves feels compatriot Neymar enjoyed a fine 2013-14 campaign at the Camp Nou and expects him to show how special he is at the World Cup.

The young attacker received his fair share of criticism over the course of the season as he struggled to live up to the high expectations following his move from Santos.

With nine goals in 26 La Liga appearances and four more in 10 Champions League games, Alves feels his Brazil team-mate did enough in his first year abroad, and will improve on it in his homeland this summer.

"Neymar is superbly talented and had a good season. You have to remember that he was playing his first season in Europe and Spain is not an easy country to make your debut," Alves told the Times of India.

"Barcelona have a unique style of football. You have to adapt it and it takes quite some time. But Neymar did not take much time to be fit into the team, basically because of his technical excellence and tactical awareness.

"At this tender age, this kind of maturity on the field is quite rare. That is why we all know he is special and he will show the same in the World Cup."

The right-back then went on to discuss Barcelona's 2013-14 campaign in general and acknowledged that it was a disappointing season for the Catalans.

"There were reasons why we didn't win anything. The club management should try to rectify them. You can never win every tournament every year.

"We were in contention of winning the La Liga and could have won it if we had beaten Atletico in the last match. But we failed. And in Champions League, we lost in the quarter-final.

"Although that's not bad, for a team like Barcelona, it is difficult to digest a trophyless season. We have to try our best to get back to winning trophies for Barcelona."