Lionel Messi has given a pretty interesting interview to Catalunya Radio where he’s talked about a number of things including Cristiano Ronaldo, new signing Arthur and Barcelona’s Champions League hopes.
We don’t get to hear from Messi too often, so it’s always pretty revealing when he shares his opinions. Like the rest of us he was surprised to see Ronaldo leave for Juventus.
“Real Madrid are one of the best teams in the world and they have a great squad [but] it’s evident that the absence of Ronaldo makes them less good and makes Juventus [one of the] clear favourites to win the Champions League. It surprised me [when he left].
“I didn’t imagine him leaving Madrid or joining Juventus. There were a lot of teams that wanted him. It surprised me, but he has gone to a very good team.”
And he also had plenty of praise for Arthur who he reckons reminds him of one former team-mate in particular.
“I didn’t know much about Arthur before [he joined], but he’s really similar to Xavi.
“He’s really safe and reliable [on the ball]. He has the style of a player that’s come through La Masia. He plays well over short distances, he doesn’t lose the ball... He’s got to grips really quickly with the team’s dynamic.”
And so onto the Champions League which is Barcelona’s big ambition this season. Messi says it’s time Barcelona brought the European Cup back to the Camp Nou.
“This year, I think it’s time to win the Champions League [again]. We’ve had three seasons in a row getting knocked out in the quarterfinals.
“Last year was the worst because of the result we had in the first leg and how the game went in the second leg.
”I think that as a club and as a team we have to target winning the Champions League. We have a spectacular squad and we can do it. We don’t say it for the sake of saying it, we have a squad that can compete and fight to win the competition.”
Messi has started the season in brilliant form. The captain has four goals and two assists in three appearances so far.