Barcelona news: “Messi has no obligation to win the Champions League,” insists Valverde
- Back in August, Lionel Messi pledged to bring the Champions League to the Camp Nou this season.
What is the story?
Ahead of their mammoth Champions League semi-final first leg clash against Liverpool tonight, Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde has insisted that Lionel Messi is not morally bound to win the continental competition.
In case you didn’t know….
Back in August, the Argentine wizard, in his first public address as a Barcelona captain, made it really clear in front of a packed Camp Nou that he and his team-mates will do everything possible to win the Champions League for the sixth time this season.
Barcelona had to endure watching their arch-rivals Real Madrid lifting the trophy for three consecutive years on the trot. Although Barcelona won the domestic double last campaign, Messi was far from satisfied because of their early exit from the Champions League.
"Last season was really good as we did the double, but we all felt bad about how it went in the Champions League.
"We promise that this season we will do all we can to bring that beautiful trophy back to the Camp Nou."
With 10 goals in Europe this campaign, Messi seems to be determined to win his fifth Champions League with the Catalan giants. He has inspired Barcelona on several occasions this season and has helped them to be on track to win their third potential treble in the last decade or so.
The heart of the matter…
Valverde was very clear in his explanation about Messi’s desire to win this year’s Champions League but denied any kind of extra added debt of gratitude for a service of favour.
"Leo Messi has no obligation to win the Champions League."
When asked about Messi’s newly received honour of Creu de Sant Jordi, Valverde heaped praise on the five-time Ballon d’Or winner.
"It's an important prize from many points of view, not just sporting in terms of what Leo means to the world of football."
All eyes will be on Messi once again as Barcelona host Liverpool in the first leg of their Champions League semi-final tonight at the Camp Nou.Published 01 May 2019, 09:34 IST