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Leo Messi gave an interview to newspaper Mundo Deportivo this week, in which he spoke about his current situation at the club, the team's objectives for the season and more. Below are some of the notable quotes from the interview:
The Barça style
“My idea is to stay at Barça, and as long as the club and the fans want that, there is no problem on my behalf."
“I want to win another Champions League with Barça, and I also want to continue winning LaLiga titles here. My idea is to stay at the club and try to aspire to every honour again."
“At no time has leaving Barça crossed my mind, and it hasn't now either."
“The years go by and you never know, but I feel very good. I feel better overall than in previous seasons."
“The club don't do whatever I want. I don't make the decisions at Barça."
The Champions League
“I have a lot of desire to enjoy another Champions League win. If it's this year in Istanbul, then even better."
“If we want to fight to win the Champions League this season, we have to keep believing. Right now we still have a lot of things to improve. Right now, we couldn't win it."
“The formula for challenging for the Champions League is to be more consistent in games, be more reliable and not make mistakes like we did against Roma and Liverpool."
“Last season we were very close to winning the Champions League and we let it get away. It was a very good chance for us to win it."
“We were aware of what might happen to us at Anfield and it happened again. We didn't compete and they were the better side in every way."
“Liverpool, Juventus, París Saint Germain and Real Madrid are the strongest opponents in the Champions League right now.”
“The sanction for Manchester City is surprising, because nobody thought that something like that could happen; something so strong. It will be strange if in the end they can't play in Europe for the next two seasons."
Messi during a Champions League game against Borussia Dortmund.
The visit to San Paolo
“I've been wanting to go to San Paolo for a long time, and we never got Napoli in the draw. I'm very excited to see what it is like. It will be a very nice experience to play there."
“I know about Neopolitans and how crazy they are about football. I've had teammates like Ezequiel Lavezzi who have played there, and they've explained what it's like. I'm very excited to play there."
“I think that we will be fighting with Real Madrid for the title right until the end. I don't think that everything will be decided in El Clásico."
“Whoever wins El Clásico will me very well strengthened, because it doesn't just mean beating our biggest rival. It also means getting an advantage on points."
“Real Madrid have scored a lot fewer goals without Cristiano Ronaldo. He scored 50 goals a season, and that's hard to replace."
The arrival of Quique Setién
“We went through the process of changing coach. I think that gradually we are adapting to what Quique Setién asks of us. It isn't easy, as we had a spell under Valverde in which we played in a different way, but we're getting to know him. We're growing, although we still need to improve a lot if we want to win everything this season."
“Quique is a very friendly person, he loves football and he's always talking to us."
“Many things are different under Quique Setién. What is seen most us how we bring the ball out with Ter Stegen, but there are other things like high pressing and pressing after losing the ball."
“After some of our results and the change of coach, it's normal that the fans are nervous, but we need to be calm and have confidence."
“I try to get into the midfield play more, to get more of the ball and create numerical superiority. Recently I've had chances that I haven't been able to finish, but it's not a matter that worries me."
“I have a very good relationship with Griezmann, just like with the rest of my teammates. He's been playing at centre forward recently, and in that position we have more of a chance to connect."
Messi and Griezmann in a Champions League match.
“Suárez is dying to return to action. The sooner he comes back, the better, because he's a very important player for us."
Messi and Luís Suárez in a training session.
“He is a very important player for us. It's important not to put too much pressure on him and not give him a lot of responsibility; he's got a lot of talent and a lot of potential."
“Neymar is one of the best players in the world, and I would love for him to return."
“He's a very happy person. When he was in the dressing room he was always happy, and he provided a special joy."
“It's normal that people are annoyed at how Neymar left Barça. I was also annoyed at the time, but in the end we all want to win and have the best players with us."
“Neymar is very keen to come back to Barça. He's always been very sad to have left."
Messi and Neymar during their time together at Barça.
“Lautaro is spectacular. He has some amazing talents. You could see that he was going to be a great player and now he's exploded. He has a lot of quality and he is very complete."
“Suárez could help Lautaro adapt to the club and to LaLiga. I've always said that in the end great players understand one another."
“Ernesto Valverde's departure was tough, because a great coach and a great person left the club. It was a pity."
The Laureus Award
“It was amazing to win the Laureus, because I became the first team sportsman to do it. I wanted to go to the gala, but I was told about it late and couldn't move the other commitments that I had."
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