Saturday, July 18,2020
- Lionel Messi hit out at Barcelona’s ‘lack of character’ after defeat to Osasuna
- Messi said defeat to Roma in 2018 and Liverpool in 2019 showed lack of mettle
- Marca voted Marc-Andre ter Stegen as Barcelona’s best player this season
Lionel Messi has finished second in Marca’s Barcelona end of season player rankings – which saw Antoine Griezmann voted 18th out of the club’s 22 first team players.
Messi has scored 28 goals in 41 games in all competitions this season – considerably less than his usual haul – but still an impressive output in a poor season for the club.
But the Argentine’s efforts weren’t enough to fire Barca to LaLiga with Real Madrid lifting the title this week following Barca’s defeat to Osasuna.
Following the conclusion of the title race, Marca published the results of their annual poll of the club’s 22 first team players and ranked them in order of votes.
Messi normally tops the list but dropped below goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen, who Marca named as the club’s best performer this season.
Antoine Griezmann finished way down in 18th place on the back of a disappointing first season at the Nou Camp, which has yielded just 15 goals.
There were, however, notable mentions for youngsters Ansu Fati and Riqui Puig, who finished in third and fourth place.
After the defeat to Osasuna, Messi hit out his team-mates and accused the current side of lacking ‘character’.
The Barca captain noted the Champions League defeats to Roma and Liverpool in 2018 and 2019 as evidence of their lack of mettle in pressure moments.
On both occasions, Barca were knocked out of the competition after squandering sizeable first leg leads.
He said: ‘I said a while ago that if we carry on like this it will be very hard for us to win the Champions League.
‘I’m sure the fans are running out of patience because, playing like we have done, and after the Roma and defeats, we’re not giving them anything.
‘We were not expecting this. We didn’t want to end La Liga playing like this, but it kind of reflects how this whole year has gone.’