Lionel Messi has expressed his nostalgia for his time at Barcelona, admitting once again that he did not want to leave the Catalan club last summer.
Messi has been exercising at Athletic Club’s training facilities in Lezama with his Argentina colleagues in preparation for the Finalissima against Italy on June 1 at Wembley Stadium.
The Paris Saint-Germain player took time out of his schedule to speak with TyC Sports on his move to France, the previous season, and his expectations for the CONEMBOL-UEFA Cup of Champions.
“It was a summer of perfect bliss and one in which I assumed everything at Barcelona and in my life would stay the same, but then what occurred happened, and it was painful,” Messi recalled.
“It was a difficult transition and a terrible year. It wasn’t simple to adapt. At my age, it’s difficult to leave a location where I’ve spent my whole life.
“It’s one thing to do it when you’re younger and want to, but I didn’t want to at the moment, and I didn’t expect or imagine it.”
PSG’s season was punctuated by a Champions League loss at the hands of eventual champion Real Madrid, but Messi does not feel Los Blancos are Europe’s finest team.
“The Real Madrid game was a disaster for us. It is not always the case that the best team wins “Messi stated.
“Without taking anything away from Real Madrid, who are the European champions and are usually there or thereabouts, they were not the greatest team in the Champions League this season.
“The Champions League is about scenarios, important moments, psychological moments that define a team, when the smallest mistake may be fatal, and those who are most prepared for those occasions win or reach the final.”
Messi did admit, though, that the Ballon d’Or for this year must belong to Karim Benzema because of his outstanding season.
“I don’t believe there are any doubts that Benzema had a fantastic year, capped off by his performance in the Champions League, where he was pivotal from the round of 16 onwards in all of the games. This year, I believe there is no question “Messi stated.