Former Barcelona midfielder Andres Iniesta hopes 2018/2019 season will see the Catalan giants win a 6th Champions League title, but realizes they face stiff competition
Barcelona qualifies for the last 16 of the 2018-19 edition in the wake of gathering 14 points from their six matches, winning four and manage to draw the other two to claim the top spot ahead of Tottenham.
The Blaugrana will meet Ligue 1 side Lyon in the knockout stage as they attempt to add to their five past titles, the latest coming in 2015.
Lifting the European Cup is Barcelona’s top priority this season, and Iniesta says he’s optimistic they can go all the way.
“I always think they can [win the Champions League],” he told Sport.
“They’re ambitious and with aspirations to win everything.
“After that, there are moments when things can go better or worse.
“This team deserves more Champions Leagues than they have won. I hope this season they take the step forward which has been lacking in recent years.”
However, going all the way to the final in Madrid on June 1 will not be easy, with Iniesta expecting Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain to push Barca close.
“It’s difficult to think that someday they [City and PSG] won’t come close in the Champions League,” he added.
“The teams they have, their squads, the investments, the coaches… they should be fighting for the trophy.
“I also want to add Liverpool, who are looking good this year.
“The problem with the Champions League is that it’s a really tough tournament. One bad day can knock you out.”
Messi has taken the captain’s armband following Iniesta’s departure and the Argentinian has thrived under the extra responsibility, with 15 goals and 10 assists in LaLiga Santander this season.
“I don’t think it’s a new thing for him,” added Iniesta.
“He has been here a long time as the star player and at the centre of everything. The captain’s armband is an added stimulus for him.”