Lionel Messi has opened up on Barcelona’s monumental Champions League collapse against Liverpool last season.
The Spanish giants blew a three-goal lead in the second leg of their Champions League semi-final tie at Anfield.
Liverpool ran out 4-0 winners to reach the final of Europe’s elite club competition, which they went on to win 2-0.
Barca’s shocking elimination ramped the pressure on manager Ernesto Valverde, who oversaw the Spanish champions’ quarter-final collapse against Roma in the 2017-18 season.
That night at Anfield still haunts Messi, who insists the blame for the Catalans’ Merseyside meltdown rests solely on the players’ shoulders.
“The Liverpool thing was our fault,” the Argentine told RAC 1. “It came after the Roma incident. We got a mental block as the Rome defeat came to mind.
“We got worse and worse and it wasn’t because of the coach.
“The club decided that he should continue and I think that for everyone it was a joy because we support him and love him, like Luis Enrique or the coaches who came before him.”
Messi believes the raucous Anfield crown made the Reds’ heroic comeback possible, telling Sport: “The English stadiums help their teams a lot.
“One bad performance, even if you have a lead, could see you be eliminated. It’s so important to score goals away from home if you are going to win the Champions League.
“When we won the Champions League, this was the case too. If I remember correctly, we scored in every away match.
“On top of everything else we did well, we always scored goals. If you don’t score away from home, it makes life difficult for you.”