Lionel Messi Makes Copa Del Rey History

Monday, 27 May, 2019

James Milner has revealed how Lionel Messi called him a "donkey" during Liverpool's Champions League semi-final first leg clash against Barcelona.

Ahead of Barca's Copa del Rey Final vs Valencia, Lionel Messi spent most of the time reflecting on the game against Liverpool and how the defeat adversely influenced the team.

In his first Barca news conference for four years, the Argentina great said on Friday: "We are still recovering from what happened in Liverpool".

The 60-year-old though will be a man in demand and may be on a list of candidates to take over from Valverde should the Nou Camp chiefs choose to axe him following their final defeat. It was hard to pick ourselves up as you could see in the following game.

"No-one should beat us for attitude, we're going to try and compete like we have done in every game this season, apart from against Liverpool", Messi added. "We always try to reach the end of the season with chances to win titles and, in the end, we lost two games".

The 2018-19 Copa del Rey will be decided on Saturday as Barcelona meets Valencia in the final at the Benito Villamarin in Seville. "Nothing makes me think about not competing here".

The disappointing ending brought out a wave of criticism of Valverde, who past year also finished the season under a cloud after another humiliating Champions League elimination - that time it squandered a big first-leg lead against Roma in the tournament's quarterfinals.

Several players played below expectations this season, especially former Liverpool star Philippe Coutinho, who was regularly jeered by fans and whose place with the club remains uncertain. We are all aware that, when there is an elimination, we must all take responsibility, the players, the coaches, all of us.

"We are exclusively responsible for what happened during that game".

"It was unfortunate the match we played, the image we left behind". They were chasing the treble but after Saturday's loss to Valencia and the traumatic collapse at Anfield, the season ends in disappointment. "If we don't go out with the right attitude we could suffer", he said.