Lionel Messi ranks Liverpool loss among the worst of his career
Barcelona forward Lionel Messi has said that this month's Champions League semi-final loss to Liverpool was among the worst of his career.
Barcelona boasted a 3-0 lead from the first leg at the Nou Camp before losing 4-0 at Anfield in one of the most miraculous comebacks in the history of the Champions League.
"We were hit hard by it," said Messi via the BBC.
"Winning the Copa del Rey will be the best way to end the season. We have to apologise for the second half of the match at Liverpool [when they conceded three goals in the 4-3 aggregate loss] not because of the result, but because of how it looked and that we didn't compete. It was one of the worst experiences in my career."
Liverpool will play Tottenham in next month's Champions League final while Barcelona will play Valencia in Saturday's Copa del Rey final.
Manager Ernesto Valverde's future has been put in doubt given the nature of the loss to Liverpool but the Barcelona boss insists the final should be given more attention than his future with the club.
“I do not think too much about my future,” Valverde said at a press conference.
“The only thing that worries me is to win [against Valencia]. Every day is a battle. If you look around the coaches in LaLiga, we are part of the show. We all get ups and downs. You only have to see what happened to [Valencia coach] Marcelino, who had a moment, or [Real] Madrid changing coach.
I do not know about Leo Messi defending me. We are all aware that, when there is an elimination, we must all take responsibility, the players, the coaches, all of us. We are hurt, but we have to look forwards and face the consequences again.
“I do not feel any more pressure. Why would I? I’ve always said that the club respects my work and it’s always been like that. I have no complaints from the president or the board.”