Lionel Messi was happy to offer his thoughts on Barcelona’s Copa del Rey final win over Athletic Bilbao on Saturday after scoring twice in an impressive 4-0 victory in Seville.
The Argentine spoke to reporters after the final whistle and admitted it was a special feeling to lift the trophy as captain of the club, as reported by Marca.
“It was a very tough competition, in many games we suffered. It is always nice to lift the title, very happy for this group that deserved joy. It is very special to be the captain of this club, a very special cup,” he said. “It is a different year, a transition, with many young players. It was difficult for us in the start, but we became strong in the league. We were able to cut the gap between Atlético, a pity the other day in El Clasico.”
Messi certainly looked thrilled as he lifted the trophy after the final whistle.
🏆🆙 RAISE IT HIGH! pic.twitter.com/QqqeQ8aN9S
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) April 17, 2021
The captain’s two goals mean he claims another new record as the player with the most goals in the final of the competitions. Messi has now struck 9 times in 10 Copa del Rey finals, according to Opta.
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Griezmann Hopes Messi Stays
Antoine Griezmann was also on target against Athletic, scoring the first goal on the hour, and offered his thoughts after the match. The Frenchman admitted it has been a difficult season at times but is proud of his teammates.
“I am proud of this first title with Barça and of my first Copa del Rey. I am happy to have scored and for the work of the team,” he said. “Happy, we know that the season is very long, there are good and bad moments, this is football, you have to be strong in your head and enjoy the ball. The reward has arrived.”
The World Cup winner was also asked about the future of Messi, who is out of contract in the summer, and manager Ronald Koeman after Barcelona’s impressive win.
“Leo is fine here, but it is not in our hands,” he said. “We are proud and happy to have him. I hope he stays here,” he added. “Koeman? Ask the president!”
Alba Says Messi Still Committed
Left-back Jordi Alba was also asked about the chances of Messi continuing and said he hopes the captain stays at the Camp Nou until he decides to finally hang up his boots.
He explained, “It’ll be Leo who makes the decision, he’s committed to the club of his life, I hope he’ll continue with us until he retires, but it’s his decision.”
Barcelona and Messi will celebrate adding another trophy to the collection tonight but will quickly turn their attention back to the title race. The Catalan giants return to action on Thursday against Getafe in La Liga.
Koeman’s side remain in contention to win the league, and pick up the double this season, but trail leaders Atletico Madrid by two points and know they can’t afford to drop any more points if they are to finish top of the pile.