Lionel Messi passed over Liverpool as he selected his seven favourites to win the Champions League this season.
The Paris Saint-Germain superstar claims the Premier League has three “great teams” in the competition but failed to name-drop the six-time champions of Europe.
Messi, 34, arrived at the Parc des Princes on a free transfer this summer to strengthen PSG’s bid for a maiden Champions League triumph.
The French giants are top of Group A having defeated last season’s runners-up, Manchester City, in late September.
Messi scored his first goal for PSG in the 2-0 victory and he is confident his side can progress deep into the knockout stages.
But the Argentina forward knows there are many teams across Europe who also have strong claims for continental glory, including reigning champions Chelsea as well as City and Manchester United.
Messi told L’Equipe: “It is true that the centre of attention is on PSG, but there are other very strong teams, such as Chelsea, the Manchester teams (United and City), Real Madrid, who always responds, Inter Milan, Bayern.”
Real Madrid have been crowned champions of Europe a record 13 times, while Inter Milan and Bayern Munich won Serie A and the Bundesliga respectively last season.
PSG, meanwhile, missed out on the Ligue 1 title to Lille and manager Mauricio Pochettino has emphasised the need to play as a collective unit.
Messi echoed these comments as he labelled Europe’s other elite clubs “great teams”, saying: “We have great individuals, but we still have to know each other well to form a team. To win important titles you have to play as a team.
“That is what makes me say that we are still one step back compared to all these clubs , who have more collective experience than us.”
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PSG were beaten 1-0 by Bayern Munich in the 2020 Champions League final and they fell short against City in last season’s semi-finals.
Messi arrived in the French capital searching for his fifth Champions League title having last lifted the trophy with Barcelona in 2015.
“It is everyone’s dream to win the Champions League here,” added the six-time Ballon d’Or winner. “The club has been working towards this goal for a few years and lately it has been close.
“From a personal point of view it is the same, I would love to win the Champions League, as I said when I was still in Barcelona.
“It is a very good, very difficult competition to win, but I think this group of players has the weapons to win this title.”
PSG’s next Champions League fixture sees them host RB Leipzig in mid-October, after the international break.