Barcelona legend slams former club manager for criticizing Lionel Messi

Just a few days after former Barcelona manager Louis van Gaal criticised Lionel Messi for not being a ‘team player’, Barcelona legend Rivaldo has backed the Argentine, saying that individually brilliant players like him offer a huge boost to whichever team he plays for.

The Brazil legend took to Instagram and said that the likes of superstars Messi and Neymar are always team players and suggested that van Gaal probably does not like players that “detract from the coach”.

Check out his post below:

View this post on Instagram

@leomessi , @neymarjr e @cristiano são jogadores diferenciados e nem a equipe e o treinador sabem como eles fazem estas coisas de outro mundo, porém tem muitos treinadores que não gostam destes jogadores porque o treinador fica sem mérito e prefere falar que estes jogadores não jogam em equipe e que são bons individualmente. Como joguei por mais de 24 anos futebol sei muito bem que tem muitos treinadores que quando jogavam eram bem normais e outros nem jogadores foram. Hoje como treinadores, eles querem dizer que o seu time joga em equipe para eles terem o mérito de um ótimo treinador. Se você tem um jogador como Pelé, Johan Cruyff, Rivellino, Garrincha, Messi, Neymar, Cristiano Ronaldo, Ronaldo Fenômeno, Rivaldo, Ronaldinho Gaúcho, Zidane, Romário, Kaká, Maradona, Zico, Mbappé, Figo, Stoichkov, Hagi etc, fica mais fácil porém não quer dizer que vá ser Campeão , e se você também tem uma Equipe que joga bem taticamente não quer dizer que vai ser Campeão. Eu prefiro os jogadores diferenciados pois futebol é alegria e todos gostam de algo diferente em campo. A equipe é sempre importante mas com certeza nela precisa ter jogadores diferenciados que farão algo a mais dentro de campo. fica a dica … #pentacampeão

A post shared by Rivaldo Ferreira (@rivaldooficial) on

Earlier this week, Louis van Gaal who formerly managed Manchester United as well, launched a scathing attack against Messi, saying that the Argentine talisman could take a page out of Liverpool star James Milner’s book and be a team player, rather than play the game for his own merit.

To which Rivaldo replied:

“Messi, Neymar and Cristiano Ronaldo are difference-making players and neither the team nor the coach knows how they do those otherworldly things,” he said, before adding: “But there are many coaches who do not like these players because they detract from the coach himself, so they prefer to talk about these players as if they do not know how to play as a team and they are good only individually.”

“I played football for more than 24 years and I know very well that many coaches were very average when they played and others were not players. Today, as coaches, they want their team to play as a team for them to have the merit of a great coach,” the former World Cup winner added.

“If you have a player like Pele, Johan Cruyff, Rivellino, Garrincha, Messi, Neymar, Cristiano Ronaldo, Ronaldo Fenomeno, Rivaldo, Ronaldinho, Zidane, Romario, Kaka, Maradona, Zico, Mbappe, Figo, Stoichkov, Hagi, etc, it is easier. But it does not mean you are going to be champions. If you also have a team that does not play well tactically, it can mean that you are not going to be a champion.”

“I prefer difference-making players because football is joy and everyone likes something different. The team is always important, but you need to have different players who can do something more on the pitch,” he concluded.

Quotes via Goal.

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