Barca capitulated after lockdown as Real Madrid stormed to the title, with Messi left drawing comparisons to their infamous Champions League defeat to Liverpool in 2019.
Despite the Catalan club sacking Quique Setien and appointing Ronald Koeman, they have found the new season tough going, currently lying eight points behind leaders Atletico Madrid in La Liga.
And Messi’s frustration in July continues to be applicable to his side, as he enters the final six months of his contract.
“I said a while ago that if we carry on like this it will be very hard for us to win the Champions League,” he said last summer.
“We couldn’t even win La Liga. I’m sure the fans are running out of patience because, playing like we have done, and after Roma and Liverpool [where they lost big leads], we’re not giving them anything.”
Under Koeman Barca have progressed to the next round of the Champions League, although their mixed start to the domestic campaign means they currently sit in fifth.
Could a European title be one of their last chances to win major silverware before Messi’s possible departure?
Back in July, the Argentina star noted that poor performances had started to stack up, costing him an 11 th La Liga title.
“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,” he said.
“We have lost lots of points this season when we shouldn’t have.
“Real Madrid did their job. They haven’t lost since the break and credit to them for that, but we helped them a lot to win this season.
“We have to be critical of ourselves, starting with the players, but across the whole club.”