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Neymar had to step out of Messi’s shadow, says Dani Alves 

  • Neymar left Barcelona for Paris Saint-Germain for a fee of £198m in the summer
  • The Brazilian had been part of a fearsome forward line with Lionel Messi
  • Dani Alves says the move was crucial for Neymar's development as a player 

By Spencer Morgan For Mailonline

Published: 05:29 EST, 29 January 2018 | Updated: 06:15 EST, 29 January 2018

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.

Dani Alves (R) says Neymar (L) left Barcelona to continue his development as a player
Dani Alves (R) says Neymar (L) left Barcelona to continue his development as a player

Dani Alves (R) says Neymar (L) left Barcelona to continue his development as a player

Alves believes his PSG team-mate needed to step out of Lionel Messi's (R) shadow
Alves believes his PSG team-mate needed to step out of Lionel Messi's (R) shadow

Alves believes his PSG team-mate needed to step out of Lionel Messi's (R) shadow

'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 if it’s him.

'I always loved playing with him, but he’s Argentinian 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.

Neymar scores from the spot during his side's victory over Montpellier on Saturday
Neymar scores from the spot during his side's victory over Montpellier on Saturday

Neymar scores from the spot during his side's victory over Montpellier on Saturday

The Brazilian forward has made a hugely successful start life with the French giants
The Brazilian forward has made a hugely successful start life with the French giants

The Brazilian forward has made a hugely successful start life with the French giants

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