The Barcelona star has declared domestic success must come before European silverware
Lionel Messi believes La Liga has been the “most important” competition for Barcelona, placing it ahead of the Champions League and Copa del Rey.
Across his trophy-laden career to date, the 32-year-old has lifted the La Liga title a stunning 10 times with four Champions League crowns and six Copa del Reys also to his name.
Speaking after receiving his sixth Golden Shoe on Wednesday, the Argentine attacker revealed his preference for domestic success, noting clubs stand a better chance of achieving in other competitions when they’re performing well in their own local leagues.
“The Champions League has been something special for us and we want to win it every year,” Messi said.
“Although we know La Liga has been the most important one because that will lead you to be competitive in the Champions League and the Spanish Cup.
“It’s difficult when you are not doing well in La Liga and trying to do well in the Champions League.
“It’s true we always speak about the Champions League but we don’t forget about La Liga and the Spanish Cup because we are Barcelona and we want to win all titles.”
The Catalans are eyeing their third straight La Liga title this season but have started slowly and currently sit second, two points behind Real Madrid.
In Europe, Barcelona last lifted the Champions League in 2015 when they beat Juventus 3-1 in Berlin.
Since then, Messi’s side have failed to reach the final again across four attempts, dramatically squandering a 3-0 first-leg lead against Liverpool in their semi-final clash earlier this year and losing 4-3 to the eventual champions.
Barcelona currently sit second in their Champions League group this campaign after two games having drawn 0-0 with leaders Borussia Dortmund and scraped past Inter 2-1.
On the domestic front, Messi recently hinted in an interview he contemplated leaving Barcelona, an idea that sent chills down the spine of La Liga president Javier Tebas.
“With the interview, I got scared and I was relieved to see that, just as well, he decided to stay – in this low moment, he decided to continue,” Tebas said.
“I want to thank Messi for continuing in our league. If he feels down again, he shouldn’t have any doubts that we will support him and call him, that we will keep supporting him.”