The Brazilian believes it’s normal for the team to notice the absence of “the best player in the world” but insists “we’ll try and make his absence show as little as possible”
Alves reveals: “Neymar knows where he’s come and how demanding it is”
Dani Alves has downplayed the importance of the injury that Messi picked up on Wednesday during the match against Atlético Madrid and which forced him out of the game. “It’s normal that when he doesn’t play people worry because he wants to play every day. But I don’t think there’s any need for alarm”. With his characteristic sense of humour, Alves warned: “Ferraris also have to go in to the workshop sometimes”.
Alves is happy to admit that the team needs Messi. “If you have the best player in the world, it’s inevitable to rely on him. But we’ll try and make his absence show as little as possible”.
If there’s anyone in the squad who knows Neymar, that’s Dani Alves. Team-mates in the Brazil national squad and now in Barça, Alves told us: “Neymar is really keen to play but he knows where he’s come and how demanding it is”. But he revealed that Neymar is happy and that his adaptation to the team “is the best there could be”. After scoring the equaliser against Atlético Madrid, Alves believes that Neymar “is making good use of the time the boss is giving him. The more time he gets, the more he will contribute. And I believe he’ll bring a lot to Barça”.
“In Barça there are never first choices and reserves. Everyone should see themselves as a first choice because in the end there are enough games for everyone”. He explained that Neymar “is ready to play in the starting line-up or to be a substitute. He’s happy and when he’s happy his performances improve”.
Optimistic about the Super Cup
Speaking about the match against Atlético Madrid, he told us. “We deserved a lot more, especially in the second half. They hardly created any chances”. He said that the pitch hadn’t been in the best conditions and insisted the return leg would be a different story. “We’ll be better because the pitch will help us".
A tribute to Abidal
This season, Alves has changed his shirt number and is wearing number ‘22’ in tribute to Abidal. The Brazilian explained that he has decided to wear the French international’s old number because, “he’s a person who had a big impact on me on a sporting and personal level”.