Dani Alves defends Neymar following Brazil struggles


Brazil defender Dani Alves has defended Barcelona team-mate Neymar following a number of underwhelming performances for the national team.

Neymar has been in sublime form for the Catalans in 2015-16, scoring 27 goals in 38 appearances in all competitions.

The 24-year-old has been unable to replicate his fine club displays at international level, though, and has not scored in his last three outings for the Brazil.

"We cannot expect Neymar to put in the same kind of performances for Brazil that he delivers for Barcelona," Dani Alves said.

"Brazil simply do not have the same philosophy as Barcelona. We have a philosophy at Barcelona that we have been working on for years and we are still adapting to the coach's ideas with the national team.

"Neymar is someone who can always make the difference and it is our job to help him make it happen. It will be more difficult for Neymar if we cannot give him the help he needs. Football remains a team sport."

Neymar was booked during Friday's 2-2 World Cup qualifying draw against Uruguay and will miss Brazil's next game of the CONMEBOL section against Paraguay in Asuncion on Tuesday due to suspension.