Lionel Messi insisted Barcelona were never throwing away the Copa del Rey after a comeback win over Sevilla on Wednesday.
The LaLiga leaders crushed Sevilla 6-1 at Camp Nou to claim a 6-3 aggregate win in the quarter-finals, with Philippe Coutinho scoring a brace to go with goals from Ivan Rakitic, Sergi Roberto, Luis Suarez and Messi.
Messi, 31, played down any suggestions Barca were ever going to simply give up the Copa to focus on LaLiga and the Champions League.
“It was said that we threw the cup or that we didn’t want it, or maybe my message was misinterpreted at the beginning of the season,” he told Barca TV.
“The team want to fight for the three competitions, as it is always Barcelona’s obligation every year.
“We do not throw anything.”
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) January 30, 2019
Coutinho started Barca’s comeback with a 13th-minute penalty, which Messi let the Brazilian – whose form has been questioned – take.
Messi explained his decision to allow the 26-year-old, who completed his brace in the second half, to take the spot-kick.
“I wanted him to kick it and we fixed it, because the important thing was to win,” he said.
“He scored and I’m happy because that’s where everything started.”
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