Alves backs Neymar to mature after World Cup criticism

Dani Alves backed Brazil and Paris Saint-Germain team-mate Neymar to mature and change his behaviour after criticism at the World Cup.

Neymar, 26, was criticised for diving and exaggerating contact throughout the showpiece tournament in Russia, where his nation made a quarter-final exit.

Alves feels that experience will lead to a change in Neymar, backing the superstar forward to mature and learn.

“In life, sometimes things happen that make you mature and make you realise that you have to improve as a professional,” he told reporters on Thursday.

“I’ve talked a lot with Neymar, I think he’s gained experience, and the little shots he’s received during the World Cup will make him even more mature, [lead to a] change of behaviour.”

Alves said Neymar, who has scored four goals in five games for PSG this season, needed to accept the criticism and grow as a person.

“You leave the kid aside and you become a man, and when you start becoming a man, your decisions and attitudes become more weighty,” he said.

“I told him that if everyone tells you the same thing and not only one or two people, something is wrong.

“We all have flaws, but we must not stay in one’s flaws. In life, we must try to evolve, because we are all intelligent.”

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