Lionel Messi names five teams he fears more than Chelsea in Champions League and snubs former club Barcelona

LIONEL MESSI doesn't think Chelsea are among the main favourites to win this season's Champions League.

The Blues are defending champions after winning last year's competition under Thomas Tuchel.

But Paris Saint-Germain star Messi doesn't see Chelsea as one of his side's main threats this time around.

Asked by Marca which teams he thinks are the strongest, he replied: "Now, Liverpool are doing very well.

"They are again the Liverpool that won the Champions League.

"Then there are Manchester City, Bayern Munich, Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid…"

"There are many teams that can fight for the Champions League, which is one of the most even and competitive in recent years because there are several teams that could win it."

Quizzed about the Spanish teams in particular, he added: "Real Madrid are always competitive. The same goes for Atletico and the two will be there fighting.

"They are two very difficult opponents in two-legged ties. They both know the competition very well and how to play it, which is why they are undoubtedly two of the favourites."

On his former club, who have been in turmoil this year, he said: "Barcelona are going through a stage of reconstruction with a team in which there are many young players.

"Today I think there are better teams than Barcelona, but, although they give that impression now, that does not mean that later they will not be able to fight because we must take into account the arrival of Xavi, the renewed enthusiasm and the power to recover some players that they do not have now.

"They can keep growing and fighting."

Messi is set for a reunion with old boss Pep Guardiola at the Etihad tomorrow night.

PSG currently trail Man City by one point in Group A, going into the crunch clash.

Chelsea, meanwhile, are second in Group H, trailing Juventus by three points at the top.

But even a draw tonight against the Italians will secure progression to the knockout stages with a game to spare.

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