Barcelona captain Lionel Messi admits his side did too much to help Real Madrid win only a third La Liga title since 2008 by dropping too many points in games they shouldn’t have, describing performances this season as ‘irregular’ and questioning the team’s mental strength.
Messi also stated there have to be ‘a lot’ of changes quickly if Barça are to pick themselves up in time to challenge for the Champions League when the competition resumes next month.
Barça were beaten by Real at the Bernabeu in March, while the final damage was later done after the restart when the Catalans drew three games out of four in the latter half of June.
Real would have won the league on Thursday night anyway thanks to their 2-1 victory over Villarreal, but Barça ultimately gave up the La Liga title they had won in eight of the previous 11 seasons with just a whimper by surprisingly losing to Osasuna.
Messi reflected on that after the game, suggesting he doesn’t like the image the team put across of giving up so easily, more so for how opponents will perceive them in future.
‘We knew Madrid were going to win the league after we dropped too many points. I don’t like the image we are in, especially thinking ahead to future chances,’
‘Madrid did their homework after lockdown, and they deserve credit for that. But we also helped them a lot. We dropped so many points that we should not have. We need to criticize ourselves because we are Barcelona and it is mandatory to win all the time.’
Messi explained that defeat to Osasuna was merely a reflection of the whole season. He called Barça a ‘very irregular team that lets its head drop too easily’, gifting the first half to their opponents.
He added, ‘There is still room for improvement and we need to turn our attention to the Champions League. We all desire to win it. But we need to be serious, improve very much, and change a lot of things. I hope we get it all done quickly.’
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