- Brazilian footballer Dani Alves believes Neymar's happiness still lies in Barcelona, and he thinks his former teammate should leave Paris Saint Germain and return to Camp Nou.
- "Regarding Neymar, I still think his happiness is in Barcelona," Alves told Business Insider. "I believe he'd find happiness in continuing the success he had there a couple of years ago."
- Alves and Neymar have played together at both Barcelona and PSG, as well as for their country, Brazil.
- However, Alves left France to sign for his boyhood club, Sao Paulo FC, in August, and says he is thrilled to be back home and living out his childhood dream.
- "I can say now that I realized all my dreams to play for Barcelona and now São Paulo," he said. "Now I'm here to try to write another winning chapter in my career."
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Brazilian footballer Dani Alves believes Neymar's happiness still lies in Barcelona, and he thinks his former teammate should leave Paris Saint Germain and return to Camp Nou.
Alves, as well as being Neymar's compatriot, played alongside the now 27-year-old at both Barcelona and PSG. However, while the 36-year-old enjoyed personal success with both clubs, Neymar has endured contrasting experiences.
During his time in Spain, Neymar firmly established himself as one of the world's top players, forming a symbiotic relationship with both Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez.
The strike trio, known as "MSN," managed an astonishing 364 goals and 173 assists collectively between 2014 and 2017, helping Barcelona win nine major trophies, including a historic treble in their first season together.
Since moving to Paris in 2017, however, even though he's still lifted trophies and formed another elite attacking triad alongside Kylian Mbappe and Edinson Cavani, things haven't been quite the same.
The Brazilian's time in the French capital has been marred by a number of incidents on and off the field, which have included lashing out at a fan in the French Cup final defeat the Rennes, insulting officials in the Champions League, and even being accused of rape by a woman who was eventually charged with fraud, extortion, and slander by Brazilian police.
Said incidents have resulted in a high profile fallout with the powers that be at PSG, including sporting director Leonardo, who told Le Parisian that Neymar was free to leave the club during the summer if there was "an offer that suits everyone."
However, Alves believes it won't be long before his ex-teammate finds himself back at Camp Nou, where he is truly happy.
"Regarding Neymar, I still think his happiness is in Barcelona," Alves told Business Insider.
"I believe he'd find happiness in continuing the success he had there a couple of years ago. When you are happy somewhere you try to go back to the place you were happy, and I think that's what he tried to do.
"I'm sure if in the future he wishes to go back he will be able to."
Alves left PSG in June as a free agent following two successful seasons in France before choosing to return to his home country, Brazil, in August and sign for his boyhood club, Sao Paulo FC.
The veteran defender was given a heroes welcome upon signing, with an estimated 40,000 fans turning up to see the 36-year-old presented as a Sao Paulo player, according to AS.
And he quickly cemented his icon status at the Estadio do Morumbi when he the scored the only goal of the game on his debut in a 1-0 win over Ceara SC.
Things haven't gone so smoothly since — Alexi "Cuca" Stival's side has won just two of its last six games — but Alves, who recently partnered with The Players' Tribune to create a new video series documenting his return to Brazil, insists he's thrilled to be home and living out his childhood dream.
"It's a unique sensation. It feels like I'm wanted by the people, and I'm reminded of my childhood dream which has turned out so much greater than what I imagined," he told Business Insider. "I will enjoy this opportunity to write another chapter in my life.
"I believe that in life, you have to conquer your dreams. The dreams are bigger than all possibilities, bigger than how much you will get – it's the opportunity to bring the dream alive. I can say now that I realized all my dreams to play for Barcelona and now São Paulo. Now I'm here to try to write another winning chapter in my career."
Alves is the most decorated soccer play of all time, according to The Guardian, having won 43 major honours throughout his career in spells with Bahia, Sevilla, Barcelona, Juventus, PSG, and his country.