Carles Puyol believes it is time Barcelona ‘deprioritised’ the Copa del Rey for the Champions League but insists they remain ‘better’ than Real Madrid.
Puyol appeared to question Barca’s motives after Madrid won a fourth Champions League in five seasons on Saturday, proposing a need to ‘review priorities’.
However, their former captain told La Vanguardia: “I’m not attacking the board or Valverde at all, I wanted to open a debate about our priorities.
“What I wanted was to invite people to make reflection. I’m still convinced that we have a better team than Madrid, and it turns out that they’ve won four of the last five Champions Leagues.
“I think the solution lies in not making mistakes with our priorities. We’re missing out on an opportunity and it makes me angry as a Cule.
“Achieving the treble is extremely difficult, as the statistics show. Therefore, the most consistent thing would be to deprioritise the Copa.
“Don’t get me wrong, I loved playing in those Finals, but [the Copa] should be used for the squad players and younger lads to show if they’re good enough.
“The debate I’ve proposed is addressed to the Press, the fans and everyone who wants to take a constructive message from my words.
“Let’s not dramatise it with elimination from the Copa. Let’s go for the Champions League and the League, the competitions that are really valued the most.
“The tweet shouldn’t at all be interpreted as a dig at the club or Valverde. The double deserves a lot of credit.
“I know very well how much it’s worth. I just wanted us to reflect on everything. We have a great team and we have Leo [Messi].
“I think the Champions League is very much marked out around the world and it also decides the winner of the Ballon d’Or.
“I have no doubt who the best footballer in the world is, but Messi must exploit his talent, especially in La Liga and in Europe. I’m sure you’ll agree with me.
“The players arrived tired for the game in Rome. Under normal conditions, what happened wouldn’t have.”
Ex-#FCBarcelona captain Carles Puyol: "Congratulations #RealMadrid, four Champions Leagues in five years with one of the best Barca sides in history... we have to review our priorities" #UCLfinal https://t.co/Fgo5QFsysR— footballespana (@footballespana_) May 26, 2018