'The Tragedy of FC Messi' - Messi's Champions League highlights show he deserved more

Liverpool v Barcelona - UEFA Champions League Semi Final: Second Leg

Serious questions need to be asked of Barcelona after their recent 4-0 humiliation at the hands of Liverpool.

The Blaugrana's progression to the Champions League final looked a foregone conclusion after Lionel Messi had inspired them to a 3-0 win in the first leg.

Instead, it is Liverpool who are heading for Madrid and the Argentine, along with the rest of his team-mates, will be watching on at home.

What will frustrate Messi all the more is that this year, conquering Europe was the club's chief priority.

It means that despite winning La Liga by 11 points, a cloud has been cast over the campaign and Ernesto Valverde's future is in doubt.

At the very beginning, Messi told fans in a speech on the pitch:

"We promise that this year we'll do everything possible to bring this beautiful cup, which is so desired by all, back to the Camp Nou."

The 31-year-old did everything possible to make that happen, but just as seems to be the case with his national team, he was let down by his team-mates.

Messi's performances on the way to the last four were stunning - from his masterclass against Tottenham at Wembley, to artfully picking apart Manchester United, to almost putting his side out of sight against Liverpool. 

'The Tragedy of FC Messi' 

There's definitely an argument to be had that this has been his best Champions League campaign yet from start to finish, and that's against some stiff competition. 

One fan has together a montage of his best moments in Europe this season, together with numerous commentators, managers, and players alike waxing lyrical about the forward. 

And to think...in a fortnight's time, it could be Dejan Lovren or Kieran Trippier lifting that trophy, not him. 

Messi has, of course, already won the Champions League four times, the last being in 2015. 

The question remains if he'll get his hands on it again, though, as Barcelona have now self-sabotaged their chances two years running. 

Liverpool v Barcelona - UEFA Champions League Semi Final: Second Leg

In 2018, they went into the second leg of the quarter-final against Roma with a 4-1 lead and managed to throw that away, before blowing a lead of the same margin against Liverpool just a few weeks ago.

On that occasion, Messi was initially criticised for his display at Anfield but on reflection, he was one of the few Barcelona players to carve out chances. 

And in the last two years, while he's scored 18 goals in Europe, he seems to have been doing it all on his own. Ousmane Dembele has four in that time, Luis Suarez two, and Philippe Coutinho three. 

Messi really deserves better. 

Who's to blame for Barcelona's shortcomings in Europe? Have your say in the comments. 

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