Dani Alves Says Kylian Mbappe Isn't at 'Historical' Neymar's Level Yet

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistNovember 27, 2018

Paris Saint-Germain's Brazilian defender Dani Alves (L) and Paris Saint-Germain's Brazilian forward Neymar joke after winning the French L1 title at the end of the French L1 football match Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) vs Rennes on May 12, 2018 at the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris. (Photo by FRANCK FIFE / AFP)        (Photo credit should read FRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images)
FRANCK FIFE/Getty Images

Paris Saint-Germain full-back Dani Alves thinks Kylian Mbappe still has a way to go before he's considered in the same esteem as Neymar. 

Mbappe has enjoyed a rapid rise since bursting onto the scene for Monaco in 2016-17. He moved to PSG in 2017 and was part of France's winning FIFA World Cup team. Despite Neymar arriving at PSG a world-record fee in the same summer as his FRench team-mate, there's been some recent talk among fans that Mbappe may have overtaken him as the team's most crucial commodity.

However, speaking about his fellow PSG stars, Alves said he thinks Neymar remains a cut above for the moment, per Bruno Andrade of Goal.

"I believe Neymar and Mbappe have different profiles," he said. "Mbappe will become one of the historical players in football, but I believe Neymar has already reached that level. Mbappe is still in the process of getting there. But I think that if Mbappe is clever, which he is, he will not waste the opportunity to learn from Neymar."

BORDEAUX, FRANCE - MARCH 31: Dani Alves aka Daniel Alves of PSG, Kylian Mbappe of PSG during the French League Cup (Coupe de la Ligue) final between Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) and AS Monaco on March 31, 2018 in Bordeaux, France. (Photo by Jean Catuffe/Gett
Jean Catuffe/Getty Images

Alves added that he thinks during their time together at Barcelona, Neymar took on plenty from Blaugrana icon Lionel Messi.

At the moment both Neymar and Mbappe are part of a PSG side that's setting new standards in French football. While both players were missing on Saturday for the 1-0 win over Toulouse, the team were able to notch their 14th top-flight win in a row to start the campaign.

Never in the club's history have they been able to put together a sequence like that: 

OptaJean @OptaJean

14 - Paris have won their last 14 games in Ligue 1, their longest streak ever in their history in Ligue 1. Unstoppable. @PSG_English #PSGTFC https://t.co/CrBo4orGIv

Mbappe and Neymar have made huge contributions to the cause. They have both contributed to 15 goals—Mbappe has 11 goals and four assists, while Neymar has 10 goals and five assists—in Ligue 1 and have pulled defences apart with their speed, intelligence and flair.

Both will hope to become "historical players in football", as Alves puts it, at PSG. The French club have spent massive money in recent years in an attempt to become one of the major forces in European football, with Neymar and Mbappe a forward line that's capable of delivering the UEFA Champions League.

So far this season they've been linking up well in the final third, with Edinson Cavani often unable to get in on the act: 

B/R Football @brfootball

Cavani can’t get in on that Neymar-Mbappe bromance https://t.co/nCZfPx7kww

In regards to the stock of both players, some will possibly disagree with Alves, as Mbappe has already made history. Before his 20th birthday he's become a two-time French champion and turned in some brilliant performances to help France to FIFA World Cup glory in the summer.

Neymar has enjoyed Champions League success with Barcelona in the past and was part of a stunning attacking trio alongside Messi and Luis Suarez at the Camp Nou. If he and Mbappe can deliver the European Cup to PSG, they would enhance their reputations as standout players of this generation.