Messi believes Atletico can win UCL

Barcelona's Argentinian forward Lionel Messi takes a free kick during the Spanish league football match FC Barcelona vs Athletic Club Bilbao at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona on January 17, 2016.   AFP PHOTO/ JOSEP LAGO / AFP / JOSEP LAGO

Barcelona star Lionel believes Atletico Madrid will beat the Catalans’ arch rivals Real Madrid to the UEFA Champions League trophy in Milan.

Real Madrid play city rivals Atletico Madrid for European football’s greatest prize on May 28, but Messi who lost out to Diego Simeone’s men in the quarter finals has brought El Clasico allegiances into the frame as well. The fixture represents a repeat of the 2014 final, which Madrid won 4-1 after extra-time at the Estádio da Luz in Lisbon.

The five-time Ballon d’Or winner Messi conceded his disappointment in not being involved in the final himself, but took solace in Barcelona still being on course to complete a domestic double of La Liga’s title and the Copa del Rey told ESPN: “Always for Barcelona, the fans don’t want to see Real Madrid win [anything], as they also feel toward us.

“But in the end it is a final that they made it to again and for us, we just need to focus on what we can win.

“We have two finals left, and it would be great to end the season winning them both. It also would have been great to have been in the Champions League final but it wasn’t to be. So winning two of three would be spectacular.”

Madrid qualified for the Champions League final after seeing off English side Manchester City over two legs in the semis, while Atletico earned their spot by of knocking out Bayern Munich.

Barcelona are currently top of La Liga with 88 points going into the final game of the campaign. Second-placed Madrid could still pip Barcelona to the crown should they beat Deportivo La Coruna and Luis Enrique’s men fail to win away at Granada.