Barcelona star Lionel Messi has revealed which team between the Madrid sides he desires to see lift the UEFA Champions League trophy in Milan on May 28.
While speaking to ESPN reporter in an interview, Messi said he doesn’t want Real Madrid to win the UEFA Champions League while revealing his relief that his own side rediscovered their form in time to salvage their La Liga campaign.
Real Madrid will play Atletico Madrid at the San Siro later this month in a repeat of the 2014 final, which Los Blancos won 4-1. However, the game was much closer than the scoreline suggests.
Atletico were just minutes away from winning 1-0 before Sergio Ramos headed home a late equaliser (93rd minute). It was only in extra time that Real Madrid ran away to claim La Decima.
He said: “Always for Barcelona, the fans don’t want to see Real Madrid win anything, as they also feel toward us. But in the end it is a final that they made it to again and for us, we just need to focus on what we can win. We have two finals left, and it would be great to end the season winning them both. It also would have been great to have been in the Champions League final but it wasn’t to be. So winning two of three would be spectacular.”
While Los Rojiblancos have also come to rival Barca in La Liga in recent years, Messi’s preference that they beat Real is to be expected.
The Catalan giants can deny Los Blancos a trophy themselves if they win on La Liga’s final day thanks to their one-point lead at the top of the table, per La Liga:
They looked to be cruising to the trophy but a draw with Villarreal and then consecutive defeats to Real Madrid, Real Sociedad and Valencia allowed their rivals to close the gap. The Blaugrana recovered with four wins from their last four, though, and Messi is relieved their destiny is in their own hands:
Yes, luckily we have been able to get several points ahead. We suffered a dip at a time when we least expected it, after the international break, we had [Real] Madrid and then the qualifier against Atletico Madrid and then consecutive games in La Liga where we dropped many points. Luckily we counted on ourselves and now we are back on top.
He may well finish the season with yet more La Liga and Copa del Rey successes at Barcelona, and there’s plenty of time left in his career to bring silverware back to Argentina.