Barcelona Talisman Lionel Messi believes Catalan’s main rivals for the Champions League are Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester City – not Real Madrid.
Barcelona Talisman Messi believes that runaway Premier League leaders Manchester City are the biggest threat to his dream of becoming European Champion for the fourth time, along with Ligue 1 leaders Paris Saint-Germain. The round of last 16 kicks off this week, with Pep Guardiola’s facing Basel and Neymar inspired Paris Saint-Germain meeting reigning European champions Real Madrid. Liverpool takes on Porto, while Tottenham meet Italian giants Juventus.
Zinedine Zidane’s men will face Paris Saint-Germain in a blockbuster last-16 tie, with Los Blancos seeking to be European Champions for a record third time in a row. But Barcelona superstar does not think that Madrid – who are a whopping 16 points behind Barca – can challenge for the trophy, given their poor form this season.
Speaking ahead of Barcelona’s last 16 ties with Chelsea, Messi said: “Manchester City are one of the strongest teams around, as well as Paris Saint-Germain. I also do not exclude Real Madrid in terms of quality and experience, even though they have not yet achieved the expected results.”
“Then there is Bayern Munich, another great team who will play until the end. Today, however, the best is City and PSG.”
The city is yet to progress beyond semi-finals in the Champions League, and bringing in Guardiola was designed to take them all the way to success. The Citizens are quite favorites to win over Basel, who finished second behind Manchester United in their respective group.
Leo Messi in 2017:
— UEFA Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) December 24, 2017
While speaking about other draws, United are up against Sevilla, while Bayern Munich faces Besiktas and Roma travel to Shakhtar Donetsk in the same week. Barcelona will be up against Chelsea to seal their place in the quarterfinals, with the first leg of the two-legged last 16 tie taking place at Stamford Bridge.
I do agree with what Messi had to say about Champions League. Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain are surely a great threat in Barcelona’s way, given their form in their respective leagues. While, Real Madrid doesn’t seem to be providing so much threat at the moment, given there poor domestic run.