Neymar arrived at Barcelona accompanied by a repertoire of mesmerizing skill and moves, dazzling goals, and a bright and brash personality. The best paid athlete in Brazil has 10.1 million followers on Twitter and more than 4.3 million on Instragram, where he recently posted photos taken with superstar model Gisele Bundchen for Vogue Magazine.
Neymar was reportedly made the club's highest earner, ahead of even four-time Ballon d'Or winner Messi, causing tension in the locker room and increasing expectations from demanding fans.
Ex-Barcelona player and manager Johan Cruyff, dissecting Barca's problems this season, pinned it firmly on Neymar.
"Barca has one problem, and it's that a 21-year-old player is making more than those who have won everything for the club. At 21, nobody is God and that's a problem for Barca and the player."
Neymar was 21 when Cruyff made the comments.
"If you are not concentrated at this level, then you need to find the way because we are at a crucial moment in the season," Alves said ahead of Tuesday's Champions League quarterfinal match against Atletico Madrid. "Mentally, he seems fine to me, motivated. When people start talking stupidities about your father, it's normal to get upset. But to be a football player you have to separate your personal life and your work."
"Every day you have to show people more, every game you have to show what you can bring. If not, you get left behind," Alves said. "Only the best are remembered."
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