La Liga chief’s damning verdict on Ronaldo and Neymar in comparison with Messi

La Liga president Javier Tebas has claimed Neymar and Cristiano Ronaldo are not "essential elements" in the Spanish top-flight – unlike Lionel Messi.

Messi was widely linked with a move away from Barcelona this summer, after a falling out with the Nou Camp board, but performed a U-turn and is now staying put in Spain.

Neymar, meanwhile, has long been linked with a return to the La Liga giants but has so far failed to agree an exit with current employers Paris Saint-Germain.

Although Tebas would love to see the Brazilian star back in the league, he likened his reputation to that of former Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo, who now plies his trade for Juventus.

And in a glowing tribute to Messi, the La Liga chief also hailed the importance of the Argentine.

"Yes, of course [I'd like Neymar to return]. With his qualities he's in the top three players in the world," Tebas told Marca .

"It would be very important for La Liga if he came again, although it wouldn't be defining for the Spanish league.

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"The defining thing is that we play 10 months a year, with 20 clubs each playing each other and generating passion and joy each weekend for fans in Spain and across the world.

"A player like Neymar gives you a following in countries that look out for him, but he's not an essential element, not even Cristiano Ronaldo was.

"Lionel Messi, on the other hand, is an essential element because he's the heritage of La Liga."

Meanwhile, Barca boss Ronald Koeman suggested he may be willing to start Messi against Getafe.

The club captain only returned from the other side of the world after helping Argentina to a 2-1 win away to Bolivia in a World Cup qualifier on Tuesday.

"Leo has spent many years playing in a tight schedule, and if he doesn't play then he feels even more tired," said Koeman.

"We want to pick our best team in every game so we can win and although people are tired after their international games, everyone has returned feeling happy and motivated."

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