Alves: Surprised Neymar wasn’t second

Dani Alves believes Neymar will succeed Barcelona teammate Lionel Messi as perennial Ballon d’Or winner and should have been ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo.

Messi claimed a record fifth Ballon d’Or on Monday, receiving more votes than Ronaldo and Neymar, having lost out to the Real Madrid forward in the past two years.

“[Messi will keep winning] as long as he wants. If he continues as usual he won’t have a competitor,” AS reports Alves saying after the ceremony.

“The years pass and he just gets better, he gets better at understanding the game. We’re privileged to have him.”

Alves then backed his compatriot Neymar to land the award one day, and believes he would have been a better choice as runner-up than Ronaldo.

“Neymar’s made great progress and he’s better every day. He’ll compete for the award, of course. He wants it and will work to get it,” the defender continued.

“I am surprised [he wasn’t second] but they cry when I say things. When Leo doesn’t win, Ney will.”

Tags Ballon d'Or Cristiano Ronaldo Dani Alves Lionel Messi Neymar