Van Gaal says Milner compares favourably to Neymar and Messi
In a strange way, you can sort of see where he's coming from, but no doubt the words spoken by former Man Utd manager Louis Van Gaal will be met with derision.
In an interview with Spanish paper El Pais the Dutchman compared James Milner quite favourably to Messi and Neymar.
He said: "Look at Barcelona. How many Champion Leagues have they won with what they say is the best player in the world? Look at Neymar at PSG. How many Champions Leagues won? Neymar and Messi I like them as individual players, not as team players. I believe that in collective games there is nothing more important than the team player.
"One of the best is James Milner. 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."
We can only imagine it will add further salt to the wounds of Messi who, prior to the second leg against Barcelona, referred to Milner as a 'donkey'.