‘Messi and Neymar are bigger than him’
26 November, 2022, 11:18 am
FRANCE striker Kylian Mbappe is yet to understand that his Paris St Germain teammates Lionel Messi and Neymar are bigger players than him, Brazil defender Dani Alves said, as he urged the 23-year-old to make the most of their time together.
Alves shared a dressing room at PSG with compatriot Neymar and a newly-arrived Mbappe between 2017 and 2019 and also played alongside Messi at Barcelona in a trophy-laden eight-year spell.
In September, PSG manager Christophe Galtier had played down talk of a rift between Mbappe and Neymar after the French player appeared to anger the Brazilian having chosen to shoot rather than pass the ball for a tap-in during a Champions League game.
Galtier said last month PSG had changed their system to test how their attacking trio of Messi, Mbappe and Neymar could work more effectively.
“Mbappe is a phenomenon who still hasn’t understood that those who play with him in attack are more of a phenomenon than he is,” the 39-year-old Alves told La Gazzetta dello Sport.
“Neymar and Messi are unique: they see and do things nobody else sees or can do. A great player must know and understand who he plays with, your team mates enrich your qualities.”
Alves, who now plays for Pumas UNAM, said Mbappe should take advantage of playing with Messi and Neymar.
“You have to be smart … they’re two geniuses … If Mbappe gave the ball to them, he would score 150 goals,” the right back said.
Alves is part of Brazil’s squad at the World Cup in Qatar where the team are looking to win a record-extending sixth title.
They begin their campaign yesterday against Serbia in Group G.