Alves: Players to blame for Pep exit

Barcelona full-back Dani Alves believes the players are to blame for former coach Pep Guardiola's decision to leave at the end of last season.

Pep Guardiola

By staff

Guardiola, who took over at the helm of the Nou Camp in 2008, led the Catalan outfit to three straight La Liga titles, two Copa del Reys and two UEFA Champions League titles.

However, having seen his side lose out to arch-rivals Real Madrid in the league last season, the 41-year-old decided it was time to call it a day at the club, and Alves believes it was because he felt he could no longer motivate the players.

"Pep said that he would only leave when we were no longer responding to him," he told Le Buteur.

"We did not respond to him on the field as he would have liked and this is why the players feel responsible for his departure."

Alves also expressed his optimism that Brazil team-mate Neymar, who is one of the most highly-rated youngsters in the world at the moment, would join him at Barca, a move he believes would be beneficial for the 20-year-old.

"The difference between [Lionel] Messi and Neymar is that Messi plays in Europe, while Neymar is still in Brazil," he added.

"Even without tactical discipline, what is important for a team is having players with maturity and a sense of responsibility.

"To further his career, Neymar must come to Europe and preferably to Barcelona."

Alves left Brazil in 2002 when he joined Sevilla and spent six years there before moving to the Nou Camp at the start of the 2008/09 campaign.

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