Paris St Germain forward Neymar left Barcelona in order to escape the shadow of Lionel Messi and increase Brazil`s chances of winning this year`s World Cup, according to club and country team-mate Dani Alves.
Neymar became the world`s most expensive footballer in August when he completed a 222 million-euro ($276 million) transfer from Barcelona to PSG.
The 25-year-old finished third behind Messi and Real Madrid`s Cristiano Ronaldo in the 2017 Ballon d`Or.
"I think he`s (Neymar) up there with (Lionel) Messi as the most influential player in world football. The thing is, he had to come out of his shadow a little," Alves told FIFA`s website. (www.fifa.com)
"Playing with someone as unique as Leo is the most incredible thing that can happen to you, but there`s always that doubt in your mind if it`s you that really has the quality or if it`s him.
"It was important for Ney`s own development and for Brazil for him to follow his own path."
PSG have opened an 11-point gap at the top of Ligue 1, with Neymar contributing 17 goals and 11 assists.
However, Alves believes Neymar`s main objective this season is to deliver PSG`s first Champions League title.
"It`s our main goal. It`s what Neymar was thinking when he left Barca and it`s what I was thinking when I left Juventus. That`s what moves us," he added.
"We`re ready to compete and the question of whether that preparation leads us to victory or elimination is going to depend on how we work as a team."
PSG resume their European campaign on Feb. 14 in the first leg of a mouth-watering last-16 tie against holders Real Madrid.