"I would like Valverde to continue next year".
Barca's all-time top scorer became club captain for the first time this season but, despite the Catalans retaining the Liga title with three games to spare, Messi can not shake off the bad memories of the loss to Liverpool.
"Liverpool was our fault - we played a shocking game".
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"We don't have to apologize for losing, but we do for not competing", Messi said of his team's second-leg collapse.
They might have scored after five minutes when Clement Lenglet's wild and careless attempt at a clearance found Rodrigo Moreno, who rounded Jasper Cillessen, but Gerard Pique was alert enough to slide in and clear off his own goal-line.
The goal set the stage for a pulsating finale, with Barcelona coming with everything in hopes of an equaliser, but the Valencia defence did the job by turning away Messi & Co. when it mattered most to clinch their long-awaited title.
Eleven minutes later and Rodrigo made it two, heading home from point-blank range as Barcelona floundered.
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But just blaming the full-backs isn't sufficient or fair.
Valencia comes into the matchup following a 2-0 win over Valladolid to finish its La Liga campaign fourth in the standings.
When asked if he himself was considering leaving Barcelona, Messi responded: "No, no, no". Somehow Coutinho survived - perhaps the coach forgot he was even playing. The introduction of the latter two immediately gave Barcelona a spark and only the woodwork prevented Messi from cutting the deficit to one. "Regrettably, that game has tainted the season", Messi told reporters, according to Sky Sports. "The Champions League exit does not make me lose my desire to be here". "I have suffered disappointment with Argentina and I am still trying. The fact we have had disappointments doesn't change anything".
Speaking about that debacle in Anfield, Lionel Messi was keen to stress that the players were at fault for the performance and not embattled coach Ernesto Valverde, who has seen his position at the club come under increasing scrutiny following that defeat.
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Messi also suspects that defeat to Valencia on Saturday could cause further turmoil.