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WE STILL CAN’T WIN CHAMPIONS LEAGUE THIS WAY: MESSI NOT OPTIMISTIC OF SETIEN’S APPROACH TO UCL GLORY QUEST

Lionel Messi doesn’t believe Barcelona can challenge for the Champions League based on their current form.

The Catalans have endured a mixed season which led to the dismissal of Ernesto Valverde.

Quique Setien replaced him at the Nou Camp and claimed Barcelona have what it takes to win Europe’s top prize.

But Messi is not in agreement and suggested that his manager “misunderstood” the current levels being achieved by the Spanish giants.

Barcelona’s last 16 tie with Napoli hung in the balance after a first-leg draw in Italy but the second-leg wasn’t played before the coronavirus pandemic hit.

“I never doubted the squad we have and I have no doubt that we can win all that remains, but not by playing in the way we were playing,” Messi told reporters.

“Now, everyone has their opinion and they are all very respectable. Mine is based on the fact that I was lucky to play the Champions League every year and I know that it is not possible to win it by playing as we have been playing. Perhaps Setien misunderstood.”

Messi has won four Champions League titles – the most recent of which came in 2015.

But the Catalans have not reached a final since with performances questioned despite the regular capture of silverware.

Messi though hopes the enforced break may prove beneficial as they look to retain their La Liga crown with a two-point lead over Real Madrid.

“This break may end up benefiting us, but we are going to see if they can start the competitions and there we will leave doubts, because we will check the level that we have or can reach when we start,” Messi continued.

“Going back to training is a first step but we should not trust ourselves and we must continue taking all the necessary precautions and assume that we have to start playing the games when they arrive but behind closed doors.

“Personally I am looking forward to the competitions. We know that everything is going to be weird, without fans in the stadium and with the theme of the concentrations that we really would not like to have to be separated from our families. You have to see how it looks.”

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