UEFA Champions League English

Lionel Messi snubs Liverpool while naming Manchester United and Man City among Champions League favorites

Paris Saint-Germain superstar Lionel Messi named seven teams that he has shortlisted as favorites to lift the UEFA Champions League this season, notably among which are Man United and Man City – but made a surprisingly glaring omission from his list.

The Paris Saint-Germain superstar and 6-time Ballon d’Or winner opined that the Premier League has three “great teams” in the competition – naming Manchester City and Manchester United, as well as Chelsea, among the teams that are the favorites to win this season’s Champions League – but omitted the Merseyside giants, as per The Mirror.

The Argentina captain and talisman knows there are numerous European teams who are definitely laying strong claims for continental glory, including reigning champions Chelsea as well as both the Manchester clubs.

Messi told L’Equipe: “It is true that the center of attention is on PSG, but there are other very strong teams, such as Chelsea, the Manchester teams (United and City), Real Madrid, who always responds, Inter Milan, Bayern.”

Real Madrid have been crowned champions of Europe a record 13 times, while Inter Milan and Bayern Munich won Serie A and the Bundesliga respectively last season.

PSG, meanwhile, missed out on the Ligue 1 title to Lille last season and manager Mauricio Pochettino has emphasized the need for his team to play as an integral, collective unit.

Messi echoed the same sentiments as he labelled Europe’s other elite clubs “great teams”, saying: “We have great individuals, but we still have to know each other well to form a team. To win important titles you have to play as a team.

“That is what makes me say that we are still one step back compared to all these clubs , who have more collective experience than us.”

PSG were beaten 1-0 by Bayern Munich in the 2020 Champions League final and also came up short against City in last season’s semi-finals.

Messi subsequently arrived in the French capital to persist in his quest for his fifth Champions League title having last lifted the trophy with Barcelona in 2015.

“It is everyone’s dream to win the Champions League here,” added the diminutive dynamo. “The club has been working towards this goal for a few years and lately it has been close.

“From a personal point of view it is the same, I would love to win the Champions League, as I said when I was still in Barcelona.

“It is a very good, very difficult competition to win, but I think this group of players has the weapons to win this title.”

Messi, 34, arrived in Paris on a free transfer this summer and scored against Manchester City – his first goal for the Parc des Princes club – last month to help PSG top Group A.

PSG’s next Champions League fixture sees them host RB Leipzig in mid-October, after the international break.