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'Neymar is not yet understood' - Dani Alves believes Brazil star needs Messi treatment

20:16 BST 11/04/2019
Neymar PSG Paris Saint-Germain 2018-19
The PSG defender believes his club and team-mate has all the qualities necessary to bring success to his teams if he is trusted like the Barca star

Dani Alves believes Neymar's qualities are not yet fully understood, suggesting his countryman needs to be looked at in a similar vein to Lionel Messi.

Neymar has been a statistical success at Paris Saint-Germain, along with domestic dominance, but things have not gone as he would want in Europe or internationally.

The star man was held off the board in last year’s first leg round of 16 tie against Real Madrid, and missed both the second leg last year and both legs this year in the same round against Manchester United with a broken foot as PSG were ousted both times.

Meanwhile, at the 2018 World Cup, Neymar's reaction to being fouled drew more attention than his goalscoring prowess, as Brazil went out in the quarter-finals to Belgium

As a result, Neymar has come in for frequent criticism, even as reports continue to swirl that he could be headed for a summer exit to Real Madrid or Barcelona, as he is seen as having led neither Brazil nor PSG to success in international tournaments.

However, his club and international team-mate Alves believes Neymar is misunderstood, and should be looked at in a way similar to their former squad mate Messi at Barcelona.

"Here, everyone has not yet understood Neymar,” Alves told RMC Sport. “When the ball is at the feet of this kind of player, there is like the scent of truffles.

“What's going on is like with Messi. Around Messi, there are other players.

“Here, we did not understand Neymar always gets and needs the ball and he gives you what you don't have. I give him the ball, and he does what he wants."

"Imagine I'm paying for an entrance to see a show. People need to understand, what do they want to see?

“If Messi loses the ball, we run to get it back and give it back to him [To let him] create things. "

"People don't change, they get better, they take shots, they have to be smart, but they must not change the way they play, otherwise people will fall asleep. PSG has different players."

Neymar has been sidelined since January with a broken foot – a similar injury to that which cost him much of the second half of last season.

The star attacker, who has 13 goals and six assists in just 13 Ligue 1 games this season, returned to training at the start of April as he looks to return in time for both the end of the domestic campaign and the Copa America with Brazil this summer.

He is set to return to more domestic silverware, as PSG look set to seal their second consecutive Ligue 1 crown. They could make it official this weekend against second-placed Lille.