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Louis van Gaal slams Lionel Messi for being too much of an individual

‘Why hasn’t he won the Champions League for five years?’: Louis van Gaal slams Lionel Messi for being too much of an individual and suggests he needs to adapt to team-mates more

  • Barcelona finished the season as La Liga champions in a bittersweet campaign 
  • The Catalan giants did look on course to reach the Champions League final 
  • However, they threw a 3-0 semi-final lead against Liverpool to get knocked out 

Former Barcelona manager Louis van Gaal has hit out at Lionel Messi for placing his interests above the team’s.

Messi enjoyed another stellar season at Barcelona but finished the campaign with just the La Liga title for his efforts.

The Catalan giants squandered the chance of Champions League glory when they blew a 3-0 semi-final first leg lead against Liverpool to lose the return fixture 4-0.

Ex-Barcelona boss Lionel Messi has questioned Lionel Messi's influence on the squad

Ex-Barcelona boss Lionel Messi has questioned Lionel Messi’s influence on the squad 

Messi saw Barca throw away a 3-0 lead in the Champions League semi-final to Liverpool

Messi saw Barca throw away a 3-0 lead in the Champions League semi-final to Liverpool

Barca haven’t been crowned European champions since 2014 and Van Gaal, who managed the club for three years apiece in two different spells, believes their five-year wait can be attributed to Messi.

‘I’m not in the dressing room or in the training sessions at Barcelona, so I cannot judge. I like Messi as an individual player. He’s the best individual player in the world because his stats are amazing. I like him!’ he told El Pais.

‘But why hasn’t he won a Champions League for five years? Why? As captain, you have to ask yourself why the team doesn’t win in Europe. Barca have a fantastic squad.

‘I think that Messi is aka responsible for what is happening at Barcelona, not just the coach. The players share a huge part of the responsibility for what happens in a team.

‘They have a squad of 30 players and I believe that Messi should adapt himself to the team, and not the other way around.

‘[Pep] Guardiola made him play to the benefit of the team but the last few coaches have adapted too much to Messi instead of protecting the team spirit. Team spirit is the most important thing.’ 

Van Gaal managed Barcelona for three years apiece in two different spells at the Nou Camp

Van Gaal managed Barcelona for three years apiece in two different spells at the Nou Camp


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