UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Messi back at Wembley looking to make up for lost time in Europe

Lionel Messi lay on the Wembley grass, his left hand grasping the Champions League trophy and his right pumping the air, he must have thought there would be many more European glory nights to come.

It was 2011 and Barca had beaten Manchester United 3-1. "No one has given us a hiding like that," Alex Ferguson said. They were so much better than the rest that many predicted a decade of European dominance after that mesmerising display. "We have a challenge with Barcelona, we all do," Ferguson said.
Messi had scored his side's second. Barcelona bounced in front of the photographers, the club's name carved into the trophy for a fourth time.

For the 23-year-old Messi at the front, it was a third Champions League triumph in six years. But there has been only one in the seven seasons since, when Luis Enrique led his 2015 Barca to a brilliant treble.

To make matters worse, arch-rivals Real Madrid have been crowned European champions four times and three times in a row since 2016.

"They have made history and it's a thorn in our side," Luis Suarez said.

Messi returns to Wembley to face Tottenham on Wednesday with happy memories but all of this weighing on his shoulders.

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