Despite the emergence of Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain, Lionel Messi will not ignore titleholders Real Madrid among the biggest threats to challenge Barcelona in the Champions League.
Following two successive scoreless draws away from home, Barca remain top of Group D, three points ahead of Juventus and with passage to the knockout phase already secured.
Although Pep Guardiola's City and French giants PSG are the only two sides to claim five wins from the opening five matches in the group phase, Messi – the recipient of a fourth European Golden Shoe – will not discount Barcelona's eternal rivals.
"City are one of the strongest teams at the moment with PSG," Messi told Marca.
"So far, they have been the two teams that have shown themselves to be favourites, but this is a tough and very long competition.
"I never rule out Madrid because although they are not having the results that everyone expects, I have no doubt that in the end they will be fighting for everything, as they do every year."
The same logic applies to Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich, according to Messi.
"Bayern are another big team that will also be there at the end, but it's true that today City and PSG are the best," the five-time Ballon d'Or winner added.
Although the Champions League might be the ultimate goal, LaLiga leaders Barca have more urgent matters this weekend.
They travel to face Valencia on Sunday, in LaLiga's top-of-the-table clash.
16 de diciembre 2017
|Marsh century leaves family with full hearts and fuller bladders|
|Icardi to Real Madrid? Nara will not say yes or no|
|The Ashes Round-up: Smith and Marsh torment England|
|Smith and Marsh gorge themselves as England put to the sword|
|Ronaldo proud to compete with Messi|
|Wenger struggling to solve Arsenal goal drought|
|Smith brings up double hundred as England toil|
|Marsh posts maiden Test century as Australia take lead|
|Pique wants to face Guardiola, City in Champions League final|
|Westbrook´s triple-double powers Thunder past 76ers|
|Smith shines as Australia pass 300 in Perth|
|Tevez nearing Boca Juniors return|
|Rangers acquire Moore from Giants|
|Ronaldo? I was better, says Gremio coach Renato|
|Pique: I understood why Neymar left Barca for PSG|
|Celtics´ Hayward open to returning this season|
|Klopp: We´re all fighting for second place|
|Every player has a price – Mourinho hints at January exits|
|Good question! Guardiola ducks Sanchez link and lauds Walker|
15 de diciembre 2017
|Six-try Ulster see off Harlequins|
|Guardiola addresses Mourinho´s tactical foul claims|
|Call the doctor! Conte protests no malice in David Luiz absence|
|Joy for Newcastle on a historic night for referee Neville|
|Sheffield Wednesday 0 Wolves 1: Brilliant Neves fires leaders seven clear|
|Premier League title City´s to lose, but Sterling wary of United charge|
|Barcelona´s Deulofeu a Clasico doubt after training injury|
|Bills QB Taylor to start v Dolphins|
|O´Mahony and Furlong sign new IRFU contracts|
|Salah ´is a player I rate a lot´, says Zidane|
|Allardyce lauds ´invaluable´ Rooney|
|Ramos fit for Club World Cup final|
|Lille sack Bielsa to end failed experiment|
|Manchester United job like Real Madrid, says Mourinho|
|Fernandinho is much better than I was, Guardiola claims|
|That Harry Kane team? – I´m over Guardiola dig, says Pochettino|
|Tuilagi and Toomua return to Leicester line-up|
|Mourinho open to January moves as Griezmann rumours swirl|
|Berizzo set for Sevilla return after cancer surgery|
|Malinga left out of Sri Lanka´s T20 squad|
|Manchester City will not go unbeaten in Premier League - Guardiola|
|Man City are the best – Pochettino braced for Spurs´ toughest test|
|Kristaps Porzingis injury update: Knicks big man says knee ´shouldn´t´ be bad|
|Conte hopeful over David Luiz´s ´serious´ knee injury|
|Neymar not an injury risk after Brazil trip - Emery|
|Bailly to miss three months due to ankle surgery|
|Klopp defends Liverpool rotation policy|
|Arsenal fan Prince Harry´s wedding day to clash with FA Cup final|
|He´s one of the best – Simeone showers Oblak with praise|
|Juventus won´t sell in-demand Pjaca, agent claims|
|Bolasie in line for Everton return after long-term injury|
|Bedene to switch back from Britain to Slovenia|
|Maradona told Real Madrid to sign Mbappe|
|Samuels out of NZ tour, Narine to miss T20s|
|Sydney FC 3 Melbourne City 1: Champions come from behind to go eight points clear|
|Red-hot Salah wins Player of the Month|
|Heynckes unaware of reported Sanches loan termination|
|Maradona: I´d have won more Ballons d´Or than Ronaldo and Messi|
|Khawaja pleased to restore parity in Perth|
|Bairstow enjoys playful celebration of crucial century|
|The Ashes Round-up: Smith leading by example again|
|Wenger confirms Wilshere contract talks imminent|
|Sensational Smith leads Australia fightback|
|We´ve never been approached by Man United – Wenger rejects Ozil reports|
|Joshua ´absolutely´ capable of unification, says Klitschko|
|Mathews fit for India-Sri Lanka series decider|
|Lewandowski demands focus ahead of Christmas|
|Fury not rushing back to take on Joshua|
|Klopp right to rotate at Liverpool – Neville|
|Overton strikes twice for England in Perth|
|LeBron´s 59th triple-double leads Cavaliers past Lakers|