Amid speculations of Lionel Messi possibly leaving Barcelona, the striker has said that the Catalan side is his home even though they shouldn’t be viewed as favourites to lift the Champions League. There have been reports of Messi dealing with frustrations in Nou Camp with his controversy involving director Eric Abidal, but the 32-year-old has reportedly put them on the backburner and given his commitment to Barcelona. Also Read - Barcelona vs Sevilla Highlights: Catalan Giants Pull Off Another 'Remontada' to Enter Copa del Rey Final | WATCH
“I love Barcelona although I really do miss Rosario. This is my home, I’ve been here longer than Argentina. “I love Barcelona, where I live and I really enjoy what I do for a living,” Messi told Mundo Deportivo. Also Read - Barcelona vs Sevilla Live Streaming Copa Del Rey in India: Preview, Squads, Match Prediction - Where to Watch BAR vs SEV Live Stream Football Match Online And TV Telecast in India
Messi’s name was in the list of players Barcelona reportedly paid a third-part to discredit players, club legends and presidential candidates, among others. The news, broken by SER Catalunya, claimed that Barcelona had reportedly paid an Argentina company for running various campaign and make personal attacks of Messi, Gerard Pique and others. While the club has since decided to take legal actions against Catalunya, Messi said it the whole development was quite surprising. Also Read - Lionel Messi Named in Barcelona's 20-Man Squad For Copa Del Rey Semi-Final Second-Leg Against Sevilla
“It caught me a bit of surprise because I wasn’t here and I was travelling,” Messi added. “The truth is that I find it strange that something like this happens. But they also said there would be evidence. We will have to wait to see if it is true or not. We cannot say much and wait to see what happens with all this. Truthfully, I find it very strange.”
As for Barcelona’s chances of lifting the La Liga title, Messi predicted The Catalans and fierce rivals Real Madrid to fight it out till the end. Madrid lead the table with 53 points, just one ahead of Barcelona from the same number of matches and while the Catalans could very well in fact win the La Liga, Messi believes they shouldn’t seem favourites to win a sixth Champions League crown.
“It’s true that it is a year in La Liga, with both Madrid and us out of form, where we have dropped a lot of points and in that sense I believe that the two are going to be fighting until the end, it won’t stop after the Clasico,” said Messi. “If we want to aim for a Champions League title we need to continue growing, because I think at the moment we are not at the level to fight for the title.”
A part of that statement can have something to do with how Barcelona are still recovering from the 0-4 defeat at the hands of Liverpool last year in the second-leg semifinal. Two years ago, it wasn’t any better with Barcelona were ousted on the basis of away goals in the quarterfinal.
“I can’t explain what happened, especially at Liverpool,” Messi said. “What happened at Roma can happen once and grab you by surprise, but to have it happen again the following year with the result we had and that it occurred in more or less the same way, it’s hard to explain.”