Dani Alves believes his Brazil international teammate Neymar has ‘the sensibility of a child’ and thinks he must take more responsibility.
The two were formerly teammates at both Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain, whom Alves left this summer to join Sao Paulo in his native Brazil.
Both have enjoyed success with the international team too – who won this summer’s Copa America tournament – with Alves once more influential for his nation.
Neymar joined Barca from Santos in 2013 and left for Paris Saint-Germain in a world record €222m deal four years later – and he remains in Ligue 1.
He was heavily linked with a return to the Camp Nou this summer but no move came to fruition, with Neymar remaining in Paris.
“Neymar has the sensibility of a child,” Alves told Brazilian TV channel SporTV Grande Circulo, in quotes cited by Marca.
“Many things affect him. But he is not a child, he is a man…Neymar is and was our flag in the Brazilian team. Today he is still our flag. Neymar is the most important player of Brazil and among the best in world football.
“And you should position yourself, because you are in a position where you have to position yourself and people have to understand who Ney is, how he thinks and they need to start learning to respect Neymar.
“I give Neymar advice and tell him that he has a lot of responsibilities with many people and that he must take a stance. He has responsibility from the moment he became a reference to young people and young athletes. You cannot let them down. You have to show your face.”