BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Lionel Messi has the support of new signing Antoine Griezmann in attack as Barcelona starts the new season with one mission: to lift the Champions League trophy again and end a five-year drought.
Barcelona has won consecutive Spanish league titles and dominated with eight titles in the past 11 years.
But after back-to-back second-leg collapses in the knockout rounds of the Champions League, Barcelona’s players — and above all coach Ernesto Valverde — are under immense pressure to reclaim that status as the best in Europe.
Even though Messi has changed the history of the Spanish club by leading it to 34 trophies, including 10 Spanish league crowns, some fans had started to complain the club has not done enough to provide him with the support he needs to fully exploit his unparalleled talent.
Messi continues to churn out 50-goal seasons, but Barcelona hasn’t won the Champions League since 2015, when the Argentine great claimed his fourth European crown with Barca.
Now, he has the help of Griezmann, who was instrumental in France winning the…