Barcelona: Four-time World Player of the Year Lionel Messi believes his side’s recent experience of winning Champions League finals will help in their bid to seal a treble of trophies this season against Juventus on Saturday.
Messi has been in unstoppable form to propel Luis Enrique’s men to a league and Cup double already this season with 58 goals so far this campaign. However, despite Barca being heavy favourites he warned against writing off a Juventus side that eliminated the Catalans’ fierce rivals Real Madrid in the semi-finals.
“The anthem lets you know that it is a different game, a special game for the competition it is,” Messi told UEFA’s media services.
“It is a Champions League final and we have suffered a lot to get here. We know that it won’t be easy to be champions again. We are playing against a very difficult and powerful opponent.
“It is a final where anything can happen, but we will prepare in the same way we did for the previous finals.”
Messi is aiming to become the first player to score in three Champions League finals having done so in both of Barca’s most recent triumphs against Manchester United in 2009 and 2011.
The Argentine’s two goals, including a stunning individual opener, against Athletic Bilbao in the Copa del Rey final on Saturday took his overall tally in finals for Barcelona to 20 in 23 games. And he is hoping to improve that remarkable record.
“They are very significant parts of my career. The first one because we practically finished the game and were lifting the cup at 2-0. The second one because it made it 2-1 at a point where the game was well-balanced and that is why I celebrated so wildly. They were two very significant goals for me.”