Messi sets sights on Champions League improvement

Lionel Messi thinks Barcelona have to focus on the Champions League this season after underwhelming among Europe’s elite in each of their past three campaigns.

Barca last won the Champions League in 2014-15 and have failed to get beyond the quarter-finals since.

Atletico Madrid, Juventus and Roma, respectively, conquered them on those occasions, though their most recent failure was surely the worst – Eusebio Di Francesco’s men going through 4-4 on away goals despite losing the first leg 4-1.

That disappointment did not impact on their domestic campaign, as they cruised to a LaLiga and Copa del Rey double, but Messi is eager for Barca to improve in Europe after being drawn alongside Inter, Tottenham and PSV in this year’s group stage.

Speaking to Catalunya Radio, Messi said: “This year we have the Champions League again.

“We’ve gone out in the quarter-finals three years in a row and the last time was the worst of all, because of how we played and that we came with a result that was in our favour.

“We have to focus on the Champions League for the club, the team, and the fans. We have a spectacular team – that’s why we say that, because we can compete for the Champions League.”

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