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‘One of the best’ – Van Gaal on why Liverpool star can be “more important” than Messi, Neymar

Louis van Gaal has lavished Liverpool ace James Milner with praise as he believes his contribution to the team is a huge part of their success.

The Merseyside giants ended last season with a triumph in the Champions League after facing PSG in the group stage and eliminating Barcelona in the semi-finals.

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Milner has been called upon to be a versatile and reliable presence in the line-up by Jurgen Klopp, and the stalwart has rarely disappointed.

His influence and attitude hasn’t gone unnoticed by many, but Van Gaal was keen to single him out for praise when discussing the Champions League and how Messi and Neymar have struggled to add to their tally of wins.

“Look at Barcelona. How many Champions [League] have won with what they say is the best player in the world?,” he told El Pais. “Look at Neymar at PSG. How many Champions 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 he played as a defender and as a midfielder. It’s great that I 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.”

Turning their quality football and impressive progress under Klopp into trophy wins was key for Liverpool, and having done so last season, they will hope to kick on next year and continue to win major honours and there’s no doubt Milner will be a key part of that.

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