Lionel Messi has candidly spoken about Barcelona's humiliating defeat to Liverpool in the Champions League semi-finals after admitting that it is something that he still thinks about.
Ahead of the Copa del Rey final against Valencia on Saturday, the Barça captain was speaking at his first press conference in four years and he was asked about his thoughts on the European Golden Shoe.
The 31-year-old Argentine forward is leading the race for the coveted prize -- he is four goals ahead of Paris Saint-Germain star Kylian Mbappé -- but it seemed that it was the last thing on his mind.
"Honestly, I am not even thinking about the European Golden Shoe. Not in my head at all," he said.
"What happened at Liverpool is in my head -- like I said, it was a big blow and I am not thinking about personal things, just getting to this Copa final and winning another trophy."
Messi, who reportedly broke down in tears after his side's 4-0 thrashing in the second leg at Anfield, admitted that the entire mood of the dressing room had changed after the match.
"It was a really big blow which we received at Anfield -- me and all the dressing room felt it," he explained.
"It was tough to get back up, you saw that in the next game we had to play. It was a really tough blow.
"Now [we] have the chance to win a double and end the season on a high note.
"I haven't seen much of the criticism of the manager, and sincerely I think [Ernesto] Valverde has done an impressive job all the time he's been here.
"In the game against Liverpool, he was hardly to blame for anything. We, as the players, are to blame."
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Featured Image Credit: FC Barcelona/PA