Last updated 2 months ago | By Waweru Titus
Barcelona talisman Lionel Messi has said that they could be knocked out by a resurgent Napoli in the UEFA Champions League knockout stage next month.
Messi’s sentiments came after a lacklustre performance against Osasuna at the Camp Nou where they shockingly lost 2-1 on Thursday.
The record six-time Ballon d’Or winner pointed out that Barcelona "need to change a lot" if they are to knock out Gennaro Gattuso after relinquishing their 27th LaLiga title.
The Argentine, who scored a stunning free-kick goal and the 53rd of his glittering career, stated fans and stakeholders need good performances from the team going forward.
"People are losing patience after defeats to Roma and Liverpool in recent years.
"We need a break and forget about this if we want to fight for the Champions League. We need to change a lot, otherwise, we will also lose against Napoli,” a dispirited Messi told journalists after the 37th LaLiga match.
The Catalans’ defeat ultimately did not matter in the grand scheme of things as Karim Benzema's double earned Madrid a 2-1 win over Villarreal.
Barca exited the Copa del Rey at the quarter-final stage in February and all focus is now on next month's Champions League last-16 second leg with Napoli.
The much-anticipated clash will be played at the Camp Nou and is finely poised at 1-1 after Antoine Griezmann cancelled out Dries Mertens' opener in the first leg five months ago.
The four-time Champions League winner also conceded Real Madrid have been worthy 2019/20 LaLiga champions.
"We've been pushing all season but we've been inconsistent all season too. I think Real Madrid did what they had to do.
“They've done very well since the break in play. Of course, we've had a lot of injuries and many points that we've dropped in games that we shouldn't have and now we have to be self-critical over the summer and look back at the mistakes we've made.
"Looking back over the course of the season, of course, Madrid deserve it,” Messi further added.
Barca wrap up their domestic season with a trip to Deportivo Alaves on Sunday, while Osasuna finish with a home clash against Mallorca on the same day.