MX23RW : Monday, June 17 07:20:26| >> :600:1969576:1969576:
May 25, 2019 at 8pm UK at ​Camp Nou
Barcelona
1-2
Valencia
Messi (73')
FT(HT: 0-2)
Gameiro (21'), Moreno (33')

Lionel Messi: 'Barcelona still getting over Liverpool defeat'

Lionel Messi: 'Barcelona still getting over Liverpool defeat'
© Reuters
The Catalan giants take on Valencia in the Copa del Rey final on Saturday night looking to win the competition for a fifth successive year.

Barcelona captain Lionel Messi is eyeing a domestic double to finish the season on a high following the disappointment of their Champions League exit earlier this month.

The Catalan giants' hopes of a treble were dashed when they squandered a three-goal lead against Liverpool, who turned in a fantastic performance at Anfield to triumph 4-3 on aggregate in their semi-final.

Messi admitted Barca's horror-show on Merseyside is still hanging over them, as evidenced by a 2-2 draw at Eibar on the final day of the LaLiga season.

Yet, having retained their league crown, Messi knows Barca must shake off any lingering European hangover when they take on Valencia in the Copa del Rey final at Real Betis' Estadio Benito Villamarin on Saturday night.

Barcelona's treble dreams were ended by Liverpool, who progressed to the Champions League final (Peter Byrne/PA)
Barcelona's treble dreams were ended by Liverpool, who progressed to the Champions League final (Peter Byrne/PA)

The Argentinian forward said in quotes on his club's website: "We are still getting over the setback at Liverpool. It was a big blow. It was difficult to pick ourselves up as you could see in the following game.

"It has been a spectacular year in which we have won the league and we are in the final of the Copa del Rey. We have had a great season with the exception of the game at Liverpool.

"That game has spoilt a little the year we have had. I just want to win the final and end the season with another trophy.

"We are all aware that it is a final and it's another trophy to win. We have to end the season well, celebrating another title if we can."

Lionel Messi has scored 50 times in all competitions this season (Nick Potts/PA)
Lionel Messi has scored 50 times in all competitions this season (Nick Potts/PA)

Messi bagged a brace against Eibar last weekend to take his tally to 50 goals for the season in all competitions.

He remains the heartbeat of Barcelona and insists he has no plans on leaving the club he first joined as a 13-year-old in 2001.

The 31-year-old said: "I want to keep competing at Barca and I have never thought about leaving the club. Nothing makes me think about not competing here."

While Ernesto Valverde has been successful at domestic level, Barca's struggles in Europe have brought the head coach's future into focus.

Messi added: "I would like Valverde to continue. Last season we did the double and this season we can do it again."

Barca, who are looking to win the Copa del Rey for a fifth successive year, will be without Luis Suarez after the Uruguayan had surgery on his knee, while goalkeeper Marc-Andre Ter Stegen is also sidelined.

Philippe Coutinho played a full part in Thursday's training although fellow midfielder Arthur and forward Ousmane Dembele are doubts.

Because of their injury problems and the unpredictable nature of finals, Valencia head coach Marcelino Garcia Toral is in optimistic mood against a side that won the league title by 11 points.

He said in quotes on his club's website: "It is an ideal moment because it is a final. We are going to try to win against Barca and put an extraordinary team in difficulties.

"We are excited, motivated and go there with the courage to try to win the final and celebrate it with our fans.

"We've reached a first final in 11 years, a first Europa League semi-final in five years, and qualified for the Champions League for the second consecutive year. We will try to cap a very successful season with a trophy."

The teams drew their two previous meetings this season – though Barca battled back from a two-goal deficit for a 2-2 stalemate at the Nou Camp in February.

Marcelino added: "If we score first, then we will try to score again to have a greater advantage, even if that isn't definitive. The capacity of Barca in attack is huge and will force us to be almost perfect in defence over the 90 minutes."


Click here for more stories about Lionel Messi

Click here for more stories about Barcelona

Share this article now:
Barcelona's Philippe Coutinho in action with Getafe's Dimitri Foulquier in La Liga on May 12, 2019
Read Next:
How Barcelona could line up against Valencia
>

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Select and display your favourite team's news and scores in this panel

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Select and display your favourite team's news and scores in this panel
/esi/758/0/index.html - esi:0:site:0:-p-: {0}: - :T758:-: {0}: < ! - - T  758 {0} - - >  : 
Tables

Subscribe to our Newsletter


Transfer Talk Daily
Match previews - twice weekly
Morning Briefing (7am UTC)
Ultra close-up image of Kevin De Bruyne [NOT FOR USE IN ARTICLES]Get the latest transfer news, match previews and news direct to your inbox!

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Select and display your favourite team's news and scores in this panel
Login, I already have my ad-free pass
Log in to customise Sports Mole
Buy ad-free access (show me the options)
Buy monthly ad-free access for £1.20/month
Buy yearly ad-free access for £12 (2 months free)
Settings - Logout - Manage your account
Settings - Logout - Manage your account