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Setien responds to Messi’s ‘Barca cannot win UCL’ remark

Barcelona, May 25 (IANS) Barcelona manager Quique Setien feels forward Lionel Messi’s comments have ‘created a big debate’ after the footballer stated they cannot win the UEFA Champions League this season if they continue to play in the same manner that they have been doing.

Messi seemingly questioned Setien’s philosophy despite them being at the top of LaLiga table before the season was abruptly stopped in March due to coronavirus pandemic.

Setien defended Barcelona’s playing style and stated they are ‘convinced’ they can win the European top-tier club competition this term.

“Messi’s words I think have created a big debate,” Setien was quoted as saying by beIN Sports. “We are convinced that we can win the Champions League.

“We have to improve some things, but without a doubt we are convinced that the team has the potential to win the Champions League,” he added.

Messi had earlier casted doubts over Barcelona’s Champions League credentials and stated he doesn’t doubt the squad, but the way they have been made to play in recent times.

“What I think is that coach misunderstood what I said. What I said is that playing as we had been playing the last games before the break, it seemed clear that we weren’t enough to win the Champions League,” Messi told Spanish outlet SPORT.

“I never doubted the squad we have and I have no doubt that you can win all that remain, but not by playing in the way we were playing.

“Now, everyone has their opinion and they are all very respectable. Mine is based on the fact that I was lucky to play the Champions League every year and I know that it is not possible to win it by playing as we have been playing,” he added.

Messi has so far helped Barcelona win four European crowns and this season, they reached the round of 16 where they drew the first leg 1-1 against Napoli before the season was suspended.

–IANS

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