The Sao Paulo defender has told his former colleague to put himself out there a little more to gain the respect he deserves
Paris Saint-Germain star Neymar must change his ways if he is to be treated with the respect he deserves, Dani Alves has said.
Alves, who left PSG for Sao Paulo in the summer and is a former team-mate of the striker at Barcelona and with Brazil, believes the 27-year-old has “the sensibility of a child”, which causes him to be treated unfairly.
Neymar has regularly found himself in the spotlight due to his behaviour in recent months, most notably when he returned to pre-season training with PSG late as he tried to push through a move to Spain in the summer.
“At times, in order not to generate a certain type of feeling, he retracts,” the 36-year-old told SporTV.
“Neymar is a very sensitive person. Neymar is very affected by many things, and at times many of those are unjust. Neymar has the sensibility of a child. But Ney is not a child, no. He is a man.
“People have to start learning to respect Neymar. The Ney of the Brazilian team people don’t respect. He’s known as the outsider and people don’t respect that.”
His actions have made him a magnet to criticism in the past, with ex-Brazil international Walter Casagrande labelling him “spoiled” in February 2018.
“Ney has already won in football so he can talk and say what he wants,” Alves argued. “There are a lot of people who keep talking, commentating and haven’t won anything. That is why I want him to put himself out there. When they say something that is not right about, you whether it’s Casagrande or someone else, you have to stand up for yourself.
“Today he is the most important Brazilian football player and Neymar is among the top in world football. He needs to take a stance because he is in a place where he has to position himself and people have to understand who Ney is, how he thinks, and they have to start to learn and respect Neymar.”
But it is not just for himself that Neymar should tidy up his action, according to the right-back.
“Ney has had a responsibility ever since he became a role model to kids, to other athletes. When you start having that responsibility, you cannot disappoint them. It’s then when you have to take a stance,” he said.
Neymar, who has scored four times in five outings for PSG this season, is currently sidelined with a hamstring injury.