It has been more than two weeks since Lionel Messi's Barcelona suffered an embarrassment at the hands of Liverpool, leading to their exit in the quarters of the UEFA Champions League.
As they prepare to take on Valencia in the Copa del Rey final on Saturday, Messi claimed that despite having won La Liga, they are still recovering from the UCL howler.
The whole club is enduring a hard time: Messi
"We are still recovering from the game against Liverpool. It was a very hard blow and both I and the whole club have had a hard time lifting ourselves, which I think has been shown in the matches we have played since," Messi said.
Messi wants Ernesto Valverde to continue as manager
Messi is impressed by Valverde's managerial duties so far at Camp Nou, while he feels that the players and not him can be blamed for UCL failure.
"He is practically blameless," asserted Messi in Valverde's defense.
Messi claims everything under Valverde has been good, barring UCL
Messi claimed while they have failed in scripting UCL success two years in a row, keeping it aside, rest all have been good.
Messi brought the fact that they had completed a double last year itself under Valverde and are on track to do another this year.
He feels there is no reason to panic and Valverde should be allowed to continue.
Messi warns not winning Copa del Rey would worsen things
"This is a final, it is a title and we have the chance to do a double. We need to think that we have to win, like in any other final that we play. Not winning this final would make things even worse," concluded Messi.
Barca must play fearless football hereon
Ahead of Copa del Rey final, where they eye a record 31st title, Barcelona are shattered following the UCL humiliation.
As a result, the author completely agrees with Messi that not winning the Copa del Rey would certainly worsen things at Camp Nou.
Asides, we also believe that Barca need to play fearless football hereon, to stand a chance in an increasingly competitive UCL.