Is Pochettino under huge pressure at PSG after Messi arrival?
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PSG star Lionel Messi has snubbed Liverpool when naming a sizable group of favourites to lift the Champions League this season. The Argentine rattled off seven teams who he feels are in with a shout, and the scintillating Reds may feel aggrieved that such a respected figure has overlooked them for the pinnacle of club football.
Messi’s PSG side are also one of the favourites to win the Champions League title, a feat they have not yet achieved despite years of trying.
They managed an impressive win over Manchester City in Group A, which should stand them in good stead to advance to the knockout rounds.
On an individual level, the iconic attacker is off to a slow start in France, although his only goal so far was an absolute stunner against the Blues.
Despite routinely falling short, PSG are among a host of strong English clubs and perennial heavyweights like Bayern Munich to go all the way this campaign.
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Spanish football has lost the star quality that came with figures like Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, but that did not stop the 34-year-old naming bitter rivals Real Madrid as part of the competing group.
He told L’Equipe: “It is true that the centre of attention is on PSG, but there are other very strong.
“Teams such as Chelsea, the Manchester sides [United and City], Real Madrid, who always respond, Inter Milan, Bayern.”
Being snubbed may have hurt less for Liverpool if the attacker had no reeled off such an extensive list of candidates.
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The Reds are currently the only undefeated team left in the Premier League this season.
They also have a recent Champions League heritage, lifting the trophy in 2019 after seeing off Tottenham 2-0 in the final, not to mention their previous triumphs.
Messi could be forgiven in light of that fact that Jurgen Klopp’s side fell off the ball slightly last campaign due to injuries, but they are certainly fit and firing this time round.
Liverpool could relish the chance to make him pay for his comments if the sides meet in the later rounds, although PSG are sure to be a tough opponent for anyone this term.
The knockout rounds appeared to be in jeopardy when the Reds were drawn in a tough group with Atletico Madrid, AC Milan and Porto.
However, their flawless record after two games is a testament to their quality, something Messi may be caught off guard by later in the tournament.
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