Copa Del Rey Final Report: FC Barcelona v Valencia 25 May 2019
00:56, May 26, 2019
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Barca's all-time top scorer became club captain for the first time this season but, despite the Catalans retaining the Liga title with three games to spare, Messi can not shake off the bad memories of the loss to Liverpool.
"They quickly scored a goal, we lowered our heads thinking that it could happen again".
"We left a very sad impression and we played so badly".
Speaking to the media in a press conference ahead of the Copa del Reyfinals, the diminutive Argentinian weighed in on what has largely been a successful season for Barcelona, barring their stunning Champions League exit at the hands of Liverpool having taken a solid 3-0 league into the second leg at Anfield. It was hard to pick ourselves up as you could see in the following game.
Two goals each from Divock Origi and Georginio Wijnaldum propelled the Merseyside outfit to the final where they will battle Tottenham Hotspur at the Wanda Metropolitan Stadium on June 1.
"No-one should beat us for attitude, we're going to try and compete like we have done in every game this season, apart from against Liverpool", Messi added. Missing the chance of playing a Champions League final, something we wished for so much - what happened was inexcusable. "I think in that elimination against Liverpool, he is practically blameless".
"We leave with the bittersweet taste because we could have been better".
Messi replied: "I never had any doubts, I am stil keen to be here regardless of the disappointment". "That's why I think we were all in our heads in the Champions League and that's why the disappointment was so great, repeating what happened in Rome".
Valencia finished fourth in La Liga behind Barca, Atletico and Real Madrid, as well as losing in the semi-finals of the Europa League with home and away defeats to Arsenal.
Messi likened the Anfield defeat to the 1-0 extra-time loss to Germany he suffered as Argentina captain in the 2014 World Cup final in Brazil.
"Then they scored two more goals in quick succession and it starts to look too similar to what happened a year ago. We can not make the mistake of being less motivated than Valencia - we will go out and give our all".
Two goals each from Divock Origi and Georginio Wijnaldum were all Jurgen Klopp's men needed to secure their second UCL final on a row.
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