15:48 GMT14 June 2021
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    Barca’s performance in La Liga and the UEFA Champions League this season coupled with feuds with the club’s managers and leadership has prompted rumours that the 32-year-old Argentine may leave the club this summer.

    Football superstar Lionel Messi said Barcelona’s manger Quique Setien misunderstood his remark about Barca being unable to win the Champions League, the most prestigious club tournament in European football.

    Back in February, the six-time Ballon d’Or winner said the Catalan giants do not have what it takes to win the competition.

    In an interview with the magazine Sport, Messi said he never doubted the squad or the manager.

    "What I meant to say is that the performance we displayed in the games before the break [caused by the coronavirus pandemic] was not enough for us to win the Champions League. Now, everyone has their own opinion and I respect them. Mine is based on the fact that I was lucky to play in the Champions League every year and I know that it is not possible to win it by playing as we did", the 32-year-old told Sport.

    Messi, who has played for Barcelona since 2003, has won the prestigious football tournament four times, the last one in the 2014-15 season. This year the Catalan club had successfully qualified for the playoff stage, but its first 1/8 match with Italian club Napoli ended in a draw and midfielder Arturo Vidal being sent off the pitch. The second match, which was scheduled for 18 March, was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

    Messi claims that the break may benefit the squad, allowing the players to leave all doubts in the past. The Argentine is particularly happy about the return of striker Luis Suarez, who injured his knee in January. The Uruguayan would have missed the entire football season this year had it not been suspended by the coronavirus.

    The Spanish Football Association said La Liga matches are expected to resume on 12 June, while the Champions League is expected to restart at the beginning of August.

    Tags:
    coronavirus, La Liga, UEFA Champions League, Barcelona, Lionel Messi
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