Alves jumps to Neymar’s defence

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The Barca attacker has been in fine form for his club this season, scoring 27 goals in 38 matches, yet has failed to find the back of the net in his last three matches for the Selecao, who drew their last World Cup qualifier 2-2 against South American rivals Uruguay on Friday.

Yet club and national teammate Alves feels it is unfair for the 24-year-old to be expected to replicate his impressive club form in national colours.

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

Alves feels Neymar is still Brazil’s go-to man, but insists football is still a team game.

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

Brazil will however be without Neymar for Tuesday’s qualifier against Paraguay following the star’s yellow card in the draw against Uruguay.

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