Messi thanks Tbilisi fans after Barça beat Sevilla
Tuesday, August 11, 2015
Lionel Messi hailed the fans in Tbilisi for turning the UEFA Super Cup into a "home" game for Barcelona against Sevilla as he and the two coaches reflected on a nine-goal thriller.
Article top media content
• Two-goal Lionel Messi a happy man after Barcelona beat Sevilla 5-4 in extra time
• Messi thanks fans in Tbilisi for making the UEFA Super Cup a "home" game
• Luis Enrique a relieved man but wants to analyse why they lost a 4-1 lead
• Unai Emery "proud of the team" despite Sevilla's heartbreaking loss
• Emery vows to find way to stop Messi, as coach remains without a win against Barça
Lionel Messi, Man of the match
I've just been lucky enough to score those [two early free-kicks] and I'm very happy the team won and very grateful to everyone for their support and such a warm welcome. We seemed to be the home team [with the support in the crowd]! It was like we were the hosts and we're very pleased to have won.
The key thing is to win and to win as many trophies as possible. Winning today was significant because of what the Super Cup represents in terms of starting the season on the right foot, so we're delighted. All trophies are great.
The match began strangely for us, we were losing but then I thought we were much better and stronger. We had the ball for the first hour, we created opportunities and scored but then we relaxed and they pressed harder and scored and that was pretty tough. It looked like we were winning hands down but they came back.
I'm thrilled that Pedro was the one to get the winning goal. Personally I don't know what his decision will be [about staying at Barcelona] but we're all with him and we'll back him. We want the best for him given what he's given the club – he deserves the best. I don't know what he'll decide but whatever he'll have our support.
Luis Enrique, Barcelona coach
It's hard to win any trophy and this match showed that. The game was really difficult for us at the beginning – we started off falling behind but came back against difficult opponents. It was really tough. We're really happy about the trophy, for ourselves, the players and supporters. Sevilla reacted really well. We now have to think about the Spanish Super Cup [against Athletic Club on Friday and Monday].
Clearly when you're winning 4-1 your opponents have nothing to lose. What we need to do, though, is analyse what happened after that and how they got back into the match, through a penalty and some attacks down the flanks. It happens. We were winning 2-0 at Sevilla [in the Liga last term] and they came back. People think Barça win automatically but that's not the case. We should be proud of these players.
Pedro has some problems with his adductor muscle and you know about his current status so I picked the man I thought would be best in the circumstances [Rafinha] and I would do the same again. I understand why you're interested [in Pedro's situtation] but I'm not going to say any more about it.
We had to fly a long way but we had great support and an excellent pitch. We were delighted with the welcome and the organisation and when you win you're even happier!
Unai Emery, Sevilla coach
When the score was 4-1, clearly our expectations were low so the message was simply that we had to strive to compete until the end. At 4-1 you score a goal; it's 4-2 and you are getting closer. My aim was to help some tired players and to have players coming onto the pitch to provide solutions. At 4-3 we were pretty close and my team saw the light and that there was hope and then we equalised for 4-4.
We caught our breath at that point and went into extra time with the possibility of victory. Barcelona did better at set pieces, when everyone was tired. It's hard to find a way through after that, but while it was 5-4 we had three clear chances.
If there's one thing we want to make this team, it is competitive. We want to go for victory whatever the circumstances. If you can reach the UEFA Super Cup and UEFA Champions League you have to compete with these teams and see how far you can go. We lost tonight but we were competitive throughout and we are very proud of our team. The worst thing would have been not to have recognised the Sevilla we want to see. But our message to the fans is that we're excited and optimistic about the challenges ahead.
I want to congratulate Lionel Messi too – his ability to play at the highest level with Barcelona and their consistency is what wins them trophies. There's a huge amount of teamwork behind it. Everyone has their role so that he can make the difference. Can we stop him next time? We'll try.