Neymar-less Paris Saint-Germain will be crowned European champions for the third straight season if they defeat Barcelona at the Camp Nou this weekend. And the current European Champion believes PSG are the best team in the world at the moment.
“We have done the impossible with PSG,” said Leo Messi after Saturday’s 4-0 win over Valencia. “They have invested a lot, they have made some great acquisitions and played very well. They [PSG] can win everything now. The team is as good as we saw.”
PSG have won all nine games they have played since Neymar left for Barcelona and have conceded just three goals in that time. They have won all seven Ligue 1 games in this calendar year and have completed the domestic season unbeaten.
The addition of Edinson Cavani this summer has made PSG one of the most feared teams in world football. Cavani’s close-range header earned a point for the hosts in the Champions League against Manchester United in September, and he has an unrivalled record at the Parc des Princes in Europe. Cavani has scored 11 times in his last 11 games against German sides, including five against Bayer Leverkusen in the UCL.
And Messi doesn’t think Lionel Messi is living up to expectations as he recovers from knee surgery.
“It is not an easy moment. I hope in the next couple of months, three or four months, he will be back at 100 percent,” he said. “I know that for everybody he is there at the moment, but we are in football and everybody can have a bad moment and we know he can score goals at any moment. We just hope that he will get back there soon, back playing at 100 percent.
“The team is very strong, in the last couple of months it has been completely different. There is a certain mentality here, we know we are playing in a team and not in a small club. Sometimes the truth is even more important than what people say, that is what makes the difference. We know when we have the ball we can easily score a goal, but we know that defensively we are a very strong group. I hope the team will only get better.”
Messi is now focused on winning Sunday’s game against Barcelona.
“I always prefer the good ones to the bad ones,” he said. “And of course we want to play the final in Madrid too. It is the moment of the season where you must play to try to win championships. The team is strong and we will do our best.
“They are a very good team, winning the league in the first week is another example of that. They have got a lot of players who can give them really good chances. They have the pieces in place, all the elements, and we know that it will be a very tough game.”
Messi has won the UEFA Champions League with the same clubs three times: with FC Barcelona in 2008 and 2015, and with Barca in 2009. And he insists he believes there is only one way PSG can lose the trophy.
“Of course if you win twice it is incredible. And three times? That is nothing, it is impossible,” he said. “And for PSG it is even more. I don’t think there is anyone in the world who can resist winning three times. PSG are the best team in the world now, and we will do everything we can in order to get that.”