BARCELONA

Messi: "In Barcelona they want Madrid to end up empty-handed"

"Fortunately we had enough points to counteract our slip in April. To win two out of the three national titles would be excellent", he stated in an ESPN interview.

Messi: "In Barcelona they want Madrid to end up empty-handed"
FERNANDO ZUERAS DIARIO AS

Lionel Messi spoke to ESPN after the win over Espanyol (5-0). He talked about the title run-in, the Champions League final and the Copa America with Argentina.

The goal against Espanyol: "Sometimes they go in. It went exactly where I wanted and the distance was perfect for the ball to dip just enough.

FC BARCELONA - RCD ESPANYOLLionel Messi scores vs. Espanyol

Barça winning the league and Copa del Rey: "Winning two of the three titles would be great. We have two finals ahead and want to win both. Of course we'd have liked to be in the final of the Champions League, but this time it wasn't to be".

How do you account for Barça's dip in form in April? "Fortunately we had enough points in reserve that served us well due to the slip. It happened after the last international break and coincided with the Atlético games. We let too many points go but fortunately always maintained the destiny of the title in our own hands".

Real Madrid are a point behind Barça and in the final de la Champions: "It's clear that people here in Barcelona always want Real to end up empty handed, always. It's the same way there. So it's a Champions League final and it's the two big Madrid sides again and we just need to focus on what lies ahead for us. We're aware that it would be great to lift the league title and win the Copa del Rey but it wont't be easy. We've competed with the likes of Real Madrid, Atlético, Sevilla, Villarreal... These are good teams so we need to acknowledge our feat. We've won so much, far more than I anticipated when I started out as a player. There may be unfinished business with the national team, we've reached finals but slipped up at the last minute. Still, that's how things go in football....".

Barça's elimination in the Champions League: "It was a bitter pill to swallow. We were the better team in the first game and we could have settled the tie in Camp Nou. Playing at the Calderon against a team like Atlético is not easy".

FC Barcelona players argue with Italian referee Nicola Rizzoli at the Calderon

Atlético Madrid: "To be honest, they are a very tricky team to play against. What Cholo has done there is to be applauded, he transmits so much belief to his players and they carry out their roles to perfection. They have really good players, not just the defense. The have a squad that can vary their style of play".