Despite being teammates at FC Barcelona and now Paris Saint-Germain, Lionel Messi and Neymar Jr. have often been compared to one another. The latest to do so is a former teammate of theirs, Dani Alves.
Ahead of the 2022 FIFA World Cup, where the two PSG players will become rivals, Alves discussed how Messi differs from Neymar in one aspect: he is obsessed with scoring goals.
“Neymar and Messi are similar,” Alves told Brazilian media outlet GE. “Players who can see a little more than the rest, with one particular feature: Messi is obsessed with scoring goals. All he does is think about scoring goals. Neymar is something more plastic, more of juggling, Cirque du Soleil.”
Daniel Alves fez uma comparação entre Neymar e Messi, seus ex-companheiros de Barcelona. Concorda com ele? pic.twitter.com/QgyaJNnOie
— ge (@geglobo) November 5, 2022
Furthermore, Alves mentions that Neymar has a player inside of him that comes out when provoked and it’s an ability that no opponent can stop when the 30-year-old reaches that level.
”Ney has an animal inside, which when people touch it, they want to harm it, it comes out with this stop and points,” Alves added. “Then you’re dead, you can’t stop it. It’s his defense weapon.”
Alves has also faced the two players on various occasions, whether at Barcelona in practice or an opposing team, so he knows how to defend Messi and Neymar.
“When I played against the two, I said to my teammates: don’t beat them up, don’t let the animal inside these guys wake up,” Alves concluded.
“You can’t stop them. If you pinch them, they ruin your day. They are idols of kids who want to play soccer and that’s a lot of weight for them to carry this backpack. But it’s their problem that they decided to be geniuses. Geniuses have to carry a heavier backpack than others even.”
Messi and Neymar will be attempting to win the 2022 World Cup for their respective national team as the two have pressure to deliver, so it will be interesting to see which side has the better supporting cast to lift the trophy.