By Richard Martin
BARCELONA (Reuters) – Lionel Messi has said Barcelona’s biggest mistake was failing to compete during the 4-0 defeat at Liverpool which sent them crashing out of the Champions League, adding that it was as painful as losing the 2014 World Cup final with Argentina.
In his first news conference in over four years and his first media appearance since this month’s 4-3 semi-final aggregate reverse, the usually tight-lipped Messi did not hold back in his criticism of Barca’s display at Anfield.
“The first half wasn’t all that bad but in the second we didn’t even compete, there was only one team on the pitch and that was the biggest mistake we could have made,” Messi said ahead of Saturday’s Copa del Rey final against Valencia.
“The worst thing we could do, and what we cannot forgive ourselves for, is the fact that we did not compete. We let them walk all over us.”
(Reporting by Richard Martin; Editing by Ken Ferris)