Paris Saint-Germain are among the favorites to win this season’s Champions League, but Lionel Messi admits that there is fierce competition to take home Europe’s highest prize.
PSG added Messi, Sergio Ramos, Gianluigi Donnarumma, Georginio Wijnaldum and Achraf Hakimi to their superstar squad this summer, and although the performances have not always been perfect, they have continued to produce results at a relentless pace.
“Everyone says we’re the big favorites and I will not deny that we are one of the candidates on paper, but we still have to work on a few things to be a really strong team,” Messi admitted to Marca.
“We still have to finish the geling as a team and we have the advantage of having some fantastic players to achieve that, but we are not the only ones. Other teams are fantastic candidates. The Champions League is a very difficult competition, that’s what makes it’s so beautiful and special. The best teams are there, but it’s getting more and more complicated. Yes, we’re one of the favorites, but not the only ones.
“Today Liverpool are very strong. They have returned to Liverpool who won the Champions League.
“Then there are City, Bayern, Real Madrid, Atletico. There are many teams that can fight for this Champions League, which is one of the most even and competitive in recent years because there are so many teams that could win it. “
When asked about his feelings for a Spanish team to go all the way, Messi acknowledged that Barcelona’s hopes seem narrower than Real and Atletico’s.
“Real Madrid are always competitive,” he said. “Same thing with Atletico, they will be there and fight. They are two tough rivals in direct competition with each other. They both know the game well and how to play it, which is why they are without a doubt two of the favorites.
“Barcelona is going through a tough phase of reconstruction with a team where there are many young players. Today I think there are better teams than Barcelona, but even if they give that impression now, it does not mean they will not be able to to fight later because we have to take into account Xavi’s arrival, the renewed illusions and the power to bring back some injured players, they can continue to grow and fight.
“Sevilla now have a difficult situation in their group, but they can still qualify. They are a competitive team. All Spanish teams are and have shown it in recent years in Europe, both in the Champions League and in the Europa League. They were always there. “