Madrid: Barcelona full-back Dani Alves has claimed the signing of his Brazilian international colleague Neymar would help ease the burden that has been placed on Lionel Messi this season.
The four-time World Player of the Year has scored 60 times this season despite an injury-hit last couple of months to the campaign, whilst the second-highest scorer in the squad, David Villa, has only registered 14 goals.
And Alves doesn't believe pairing Neymar and Messi together would be a problem should Barca finally complete their pursuit of the 21-year-old before the start of next season.
"Two phenomenons are better than one," he told Barcelona sports daily El Mundo Deportivo.
"They are two good players and play in different positions. They would understand each other.
"It doesn't bother Neymar to be the protagonist or not, although his way of playing will always attract attention. Neymar would be a relief, he would help Leo a lot."
Barca's dependence on Messi was most cruelly exposed on the European stage this season as the Argentine was forced into action when clearly carrying a hamstring injury against Paris Saint-Germain in the quarter-finals of the Champions League and missed the semi-final second-leg against Bayern Munich as the Germans went on to inflict a 7-0 aggregate defeat on the Catalans.
"In some games they have marked Messi a lot and Neymar would help unbalance defences more. We have lacked a little continuity up front and the objective looking forward to next season is to continue competing for everything."
However, Alves refused to quash rumours that he could be one of those on his way out as the club tries to raise funds for a splurge in the transfer market in the close season.
The 30-year-old has been linked with a move to PSG among others and he is keeping his options open.
"I said that I wouldn't close the door to PSG because the more doors you have open, the better."
"I intend to stay here until they don't want me and I have advised Neymar to play at Barca because for me it is the best club and to be able to play with him. But it would be stupid to close doors for myself."
Story first published on: Friday, 24 May 2013 17:07 IST