Barca to blame if Real Madrid win title: Messi
4 June 2007, MADRID - FC Barcelona can only blame itself if it fails to defend the Spanish first division league title, Lionel Messi said.
4 June 2007
MADRID - FC Barcelona can only blame itself if it fails to defend the Spanish first division league title, Lionel Messi said.
"The truth is it makes me really angry to see where we are now," the Barcelona forward was quoted as saying in Sport newspaper on Saturday. "We've given up a really important lead. Everything was in our hands."
The Catalan club was six points ahead of Real Madrid on Feb. 25 but the two teams are now tied at the top of the Spanish league with 72 points.
Madrid leads Barcelona on head-to-head results and there are two rounds left.
Barcelona faces crosstown rival Espanyol at the Camp Nou on June 9. A defeat, coupled with Madrid winning at Zaragoza, will keep Barcelona from a third straight title _ and it will be its first season without a trophy since 2004.
Barcelona goes into the match without midfielder Ronaldinho, who is serving a one-match suspension.
"The players are angry, but still determined," Messi said. "Our pride has been hurt and I just hope that our reaction hasn't come too late."
Madrid has a difficult trip to fifth-place Zaragoza, the same stadium where Barcelona lost 1-0 in April 8.
"I'm sure that Zaragoza will beat Real," Messi said. "I know from experience that La Romareda is a very difficult stadium to play at and they are still playing for a place in next season's UEFA Cup."
Real Madrid midfielder Emerson said the club was going to treat its match at Zaragoza like a "Champions League final."
The Brazilian midfielder has also promised to dye his hair blond _ similar to teammate David Beckham's hair _ if Madrid wins its first league trophy in four years.
[Copyright AP with Expatica]
Subject: Spanish news