The Champions League has become an authentic nightmare for Leo Messi. Since the 2015-16 season against Atlético de Madrid, the Argentine star has chained up to eight consecutive eliminations in soccer’s biggest competition in the world at club level. Among the most painful we can highlight those that he reaped against Roma (2017-18), Liverpool (2018-19) and the crushing 2-8 against Bayern Munich (2019-20), with the Barça shirt. With the Parisian team, Messi and PSG were eliminated by Real Madrid (2021-22) and Bayern Munich (2022-23).
Atletico Madrid (2015-2016)
A Camp Nou dressed as a gala received an Atlético de Simeone in its maximum splendor. A goal from Fernando Torreslater he was sent off for a double yellow card, he opened a scoring that Barça came back with a Suarez brace in the second part. The first leg ended 2-1.
On the return everything was different. The late Vicente Calderón pushed like never before to carry his team: Griezmann signed a double to confirm the rojiblanca comeback. 2-0 and first elimination in Europe since the achievement of the treble a year earlier. I would be the beginning of a real nightmare for Messi.
Turin Juventus (2016-2017)
After achieving a comeback that will remain in the memory of all Barcelona fans against PSG (6-1), Juventus was the next big step in the quarterfinals: the Turin team was a roller and endorsed Messi’s team 3-0 in the first leg. The goals from Dybala (2) and Chiellini were enough to advance to the next tie without suffering in the second leg, which ended 0-0 at Camp Nou.
One of the toughest eliminations for Leo and Barcelona was, without a doubt, the comeback they suffered in the Italian capital. Just one step away from the Champions League final and with a favorable result of 4-1, Roma turned the result around (3-0) in a second leg where Messi did not appear in any moment. It would be the third consecutive elimination in Europe for Barça and Leo.
The human being is the only one capable of tripping over the same stone twice. And Barcelona more than fulfilled it at Anfield. Match to frame in the first leg (3-0) at the Camp Nou, with a double from Messi included, although the return meeting was a real ordeal: again, the Argentine star did not appear for the green of Liverpool and Barcelona succumbed 4-0. Once again, the Blaugrana club was just one step away from reaching a Champions League final that was held during that edition at the Metropolitano.
Bayer Munich (2019-2020 and 2022-23)
The German team has become Messi’s black beast. The world champion records, against Bayern Munich, his worst defeat since competing in professional soccer. In a year of pandemic and without a return match (a single-match tie), the Munich club endorsed, in Lisbon, an outrageous 2-8 that went down in UEFA Champions League results history.
Likewise, the last recorded elimination of Messi in the Champions League occurred, this past Wednesday, at the hands of the Munich team. A 0-1 in the first leg and 2-0 in the returndried up a Parisian club that has only surpassed the round of 16 in two of the last eight editions.
Paris Saint-Germain (2020-2021)
Messi’s current team was his executioner during this edition of the Champions League. Leo himself was in charge, from eleven metres, of opening the scoring for the tie in the first leg, but an excellent Mbappé turned the game around with a hat trick at the Camp Nou. The result would be rounded by Kean with the 1-4 definitive. The return match was a simple procedure: it ended 1-1 at the Parque de Los Príncipes and confirmed the sixth elimination followed by Messi’s Barça.
Real Madrid (2021-2022)
Messi’s elimination at the Santiago Bernabéu is possibly the toughest in his time with PSG. Although Courtois prevented Leo, from eleven meters, from opening the scoring in the second half, the Parisian team got the victory on the horn (1-0) in the first leg, with a goal from Mbappé.
On the return, the role was the same until madness broke out. A dominating PSG took the lead with another goal from Kylian, but they made the serious mistake of leaving Real Madrid alive: a mistake by Donnarumma in getting the ball out led the white club to tie the game and, from there, the Madrid roller got going: 3-1 and the seventh consecutive elimination for Messi.