He may arguably be the greatest player of all time, but Lionel Messi looked decidedly human during Barcelona's 4-0 Champions League loss at Anfield a couple of weeks ago. Apart from a couple of decent scoring opportunities, he was largely anonymous as his side threw away a three goal advantage in the competition for the second year on the trot.
Barcelona have enjoyed fantastic success this season on the domestic front. They won the league at a canter, and will have the opportunity to retain the Copa del Rey against Valencia this weekend.
It has also been another incredible season for Messi on a personal level, winning the golden boot as the top scorer in European football. Despite all of this, he admits that that night at Anfield is still on his mind:
It was a really big blow which we received at Anfield - me and all the dressing room felt it.
It was tough to get back up, you saw that in the next game we had to play. It was a really tough blow. Now have the chance to win a double and end the season on a high note.
I haven't seen much of the criticism of the manager, and sincerely I think (Ernesto) Valverde has done an impressive job all the time he's been here. In the game against Liverpool he was hardly to blame for anything. We as the players are to blame...
Honestly I am not even thinking about the European Golden Shoe. Not in my head at all.
What happened at Liverpool is in my head, like I said it was a big blow and I am not thinking about personal things, just getting to this Copa final and winning another trophy.
Messi stated before that the start of the season that his main goal for the campaign was to bring the Champions League trophy back to the Camp Nou, meaning he is unlikely to get over the Liverpool defeat anytime soon.
This is especially true when you consider that Barcelona collapsed for the second year in a row, perhaps suggesting some deep-rooted problems within the team. It will be interesting to see what changes that results bring about this summer.