Dani Alves upset by media coverage
Dani Alves on Wednesday blasted the media attention over the recent spat between Lionel Messi and David Villa during Barcelona's 2-0 La Liga win over Granada and called out to compatriot Neymar to join Barcelona.
"It is not in their best interests to speak about the eight points. What they are interested in is that Messi and Villa argue," Alves told RAC1, adding that there is no animosity in the team dressing room. "We all know how that movie ends and we are immune to it.
"I have counseled him (Neymar) to leave Brazil, he would improve a lot and gain more respect," Alves said. "I would like to see him play alongside Messi."
Just before half time in the game at the Camp Nou, with the score still at 0-0, Messi, 25, exchanged words with Villa, 30, after a move broke down inside the Granada penalty area. Spanish media suggested that Messi blamed Villa for not passing to him early enough.
"It is evident that all points are important but right now the classification is irrelevant," Alves told RAC1. "We have played five dates. It was impossible to think that Madrid would only have seven points at this stage, but that is football. It always costs a lot even though it doesn't seem that way."
Messi denied any conflict with Villa.
"These things happen in games," he told Barcelona's official television channel. "You want to score the first goal so that everything is then easier. It is something normal. It also happens at training, but people do not see it as it is not televised.
"I have no problem with el Guaje [Villa], just the opposite. My history with him is spectacular. This dressing-room is spectacular. Do not look for problems where there are none. We got angry because we want the best for the team and tension makes you react like that."
Barcelona coach Tito Vilanova also downplayed the incident.
"Such occurrences are common signs that a team is alive. Not exchanging views for betterment would honestly suggest worse. What was important was to make it 15 points out of 15," he said.
The Argentina international admitted Barca had been below par before the break, but had deserved the three points for their second-half performance.
"Maybe in the first half we came out a bit sleepy, but in the second we found more spaces, and made more chances," he said. "It is difficult to play against teams who shut up shop at the back. That cost us more in the first half, because we did not play quickly enough."
The win meant Barca won its opening five La Liga games under new coach Vilanova, even though they have yet to hit to top form.
"We must keep going in this way, knowing that there is a long way to go," Messi said. "It is good to begin like this and not to drop points at the start of the season, as we have always done in the past. If we win without being at 100 percent, maybe later it will be easier."