In what might be seen as another tit-for-tat comment from Lionel Messi in a rapidly escalating war of words with his former employers, the Argentinian left Barcelona out of the list of teams he was tipping for Champions League glory this season.
The reality is that Barca are nowhere close to being contenders for the top European prize this season, as their two group losses already would attest.
In both, against Bayern Munich and Benfica, the Catalans have offered little, and it makes their next fixture, at home to Dynamo Kyiv, a ‘must win’ if they have aspirations of just getting out of the group this year.
Messi clearly isn’t incorrect, though showing a little love for Barcelona wouldn’t have gone amiss. It’s not even what he did say, but more what he didn’t that will cut Barca to the quick.
“Everyone thinks that Paris Saint-Germain will win the Champions League, but there are more teams,” he told France Football, cited by MARCA.
“There is Chelsea, Manchester City, Manchester United, Real Madrid who always do well, Bayern Munich and Inter.
“I don’t know if I forgot any.”
The mention of Real Madrid is of particular note, given how poorly Los Blancos have been playing of late, and their defeat to Sheriff, arguably the biggest upset in Champions League history.
Perhaps, in time, the relationship between Messi and Barcelona can be repaired.
After 20 years, it would be the greatest shame if the Argentinian simply kissed goodbye to all of the wonderful memories of his time at Camp Nou.