Messi has 'no doubt' about Real Madrid's Champions League chances

Although PSG and Manchester City have grabbed all the early European attention, Lionel Messi keeps one eye on Real Madrid.

Barcelona star Lionel Messi will not ignore titleholder Real Madrid among the biggest threats to challenge Barcelona in the Champions League.   -  Getty Images

Despite the emergence of Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain, Lionel Messi will not ignore titleholder Real Madrid among the biggest threats to challenge Barcelona in the Champions League.

Following two successive scoreless draws away from home, Barca remains 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 giant 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 rival.

"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 champion 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, La Liga leader Barca has more urgent matters this weekend.

It travels to face Valencia on Sunday, in La Liga's top-of-the-table clash.