Lionel Messi still can’t get Liverpool out of his head as Barcelona let their LaLiga title fall into the hands of Real Madrid, admitting “the fans are running out of patience.”
Liverpool reached the final while Barcelona slipped out of the competition having fumbled a three-goal lead from the first leg at the Nou Camp.
It is one of the Reds’ most famous victories and one of Barca’s most famous defeats, and the ramifications of that night are still being felt by both clubs.
For Barca, of course, it has been wholly negative since, and not a month goes by without a player or even their manager mentioning how the loss has impacted the Spanish giants.
On Thursday night, suffered a 2-1 loss at home to midtable Osasuna, and with Real beating Villarreal by the same scoreline, Zinedine Zidane’s side won the Liga title.
And speaking after the game, having barely celebrated his free-kick goal, Messi namechecked the Liverpool loss again as he reflected on the need for “self-criticism.”
“January until now has been such a terrible time for everybody,” he said.
“I think in the Champions League there are four matches where we could turn the whole season around if we get the right results.
“I think the people here at the club will feel angry about what’s been going on this season but that’s normal, the players feel like that too, it’s logical people will be critical.
“I think it’s like losing against Roma and Liverpool, when you don’t win anything no-one is happy.”
Barca have one last Liga game to play away to Alaves on Sunday before hosting Napoli in the second leg of their Champions League last-16 clash on August 8, having drawn the first leg 1-1.
Messi added that his side would need to “clear their heads” before that meeting, but given his references to losses to Roma and Liverpool over a year ago, this seems unlikely.
“We didn’t want to end the season like this but it represents how the season has gone,” he said.
“We were a very erratic, very weak, low-intensity team…we lost a lot of points and today’s game is a summary of the season.
“We have to be self-critical. Starting with the players but doing a global self-criticism. We are Barca and we have to win everything.”
It is remarkable how much that defeat at Anfield has stung Barca, and Messi’s comments suggest he has still not got to grips with playing in a side quickly fading out of prominence.
Liverpool showed how to overcome a side with the financial might of Barca, and now one is celebrating a Premier League title while the other is ruing the loss of their Liga crown.