Barcelona captain Lionel Messi admits his side did too much to help Real Madrid win only a third La Liga title since 2008 by dropping too many points in games they shouldn’t have, describing performances this season as ‘irregular’ and questioning the team’s mental strength.
Messi also stated there have to be 'a lot' of changes quickly if Barça are to pick themselves up in time to challenge for the Champions League when the competition resumes next month.
Barça were beaten by Real at the Bernabeu in March, while the final damage was later done after the restart when the Catalans drew three games out of four in the latter half of June.
Real would have won the league on Thursday night anyway thanks to their 2-1 victory over Villarreal, but Barça ultimately gave up the title they had won in eight of the previous 11 seasons with just a whimper by surprisingly losing to Osasuna.
Messi reflected on that after the game, suggesting he doesn’t like the image the team put across of giving up so easily, more so for how opponents will perceive them in future.
“We knew Madrid were going to win the league because we dropped too many points. I don’t like the image we gave, especially thinking ahead to future challenges,” the 33-year-old admitted in frank post-match comments carried on the club's official website.
“Madrid did their homework after lockdown, and they take credit for that. But we helped them a lot. We dropped a lot of points that we shouldn’t have. We need to be self-critical, starting with ourselves, but also globally. Because we are Barcelona and it is our duty to win all the time.”
Messi explained that defeat to Osasuna was merely a reflection of the whole season. He called Barça a ‘very irregular team that lets its head drop too easily’, gifting the first half to their opponents.
He added, “There is obviously room for improvement and we need to start thinking about the Champions League. We all want to win it. But we need to be self-critical, improve a lot, and change a lot. I hope we get it all done in time.”