Van Gaal takes aim at Messi and Neymar.

Lionel Messi and Neymar are not "team players", according to former Blaugrana coach Louis van Gaal.

This has come as a shocker as the former Ajax and Barcelona coach suggested Messi, who is considered one of the greatest players of all time, limits the LaLiga champions’s success in Europe’s elite competition.

He also said Neymar, the most expensive signing in football history, must accept he is part of the reason why PSG haven’t been successful in the Champions League. 

"Look at Barcelona. How many Champions Leagues have they won with what they say is the best player in the world?" he told El Pais.

"Look at Neymar at PSG. How many Champions Leagues have they won? I like Neymar and Messi as individual players but not as team players. I believe that in team games, there is nothing more important than the team player."

Van Gaal continued as he compared Messi and Neymar to Liverpool’s versatile midfielder James Milner.

"One of the best is James Milner," he said. "In the final of the Champions League, he played as a defender and as a midfielder. It's great that he can offer that at 33.

"I think Messi should ask himself how it is possible that he has not won a Champions League for so long.

"I am neither in the dressing room nor in training at Barcelona. I cannot judge. I like Messi as an individual player. He is the best individual player in the world because his statistics are amazing. I like him.

"But why has he not won the Champions League since five years ago? Why? As a captain, you must ask yourself why the team does not win in Europe.

"Barca have a wonderful squad. You cannot say that [Ivan] Rakitic is bad, or that [Philippe] Coutinho is bad, or that [Jordi] Alba is a bad player, or [Marc-Andre] Ter Stegen a bad goalie, or Arthur or [Arturo] Vidal.

"I think Messi is also responsible for what is happening in Barcelona - not only the coach. Players have a substantial part of responsibility for what happens on the team."

The ex-Manchester United boss added: "I remember that Neymar at Barca played for Messi's service. I'm not against Neymar. He is fabulous. But at PSG, he does not play for the team.

"And I believe that every player must play for the team - even Messi. [Barcelona] have a staff of 30 players and I think Messi must adapt to the team and not the other way around.

"[Pep] Guardiola did play for the benefit of the team but recent coaches have adapted too much to Messi instead of protecting the team spirit. That is the most important."

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