The Argentine says he is not motivated by winning individual honours, explaining that he only wants to win titles at Barcelona, where he says he is perfectly happy.
Lionel Messi insists that he has no interest in competing with Cristiano Ronaldo for the title of the world’s greatest player.
Having claimed the last six Ballon d’Or awards between them, the pair are regularly compared to one another, with their respective merits discussed at length by players, pundits and fans alike.
However, Messi insists that he has no interest in the perceived rivalry between the two, explaining that he is not driven by personal prizes – but club titles.
“Competing with Cristiano? I don’t feel like competing with him or anyone else,” he told reporters on Thursday. “It’s not about individual awards; I want to help my team.”
Messi’s status as one of the finest players of all time has long been a subject of much debate, too, with some feeling that his failure to lead Argentina to World Cup glory this summer has undermined the argument that he ranks higher than Pele or Diego Maradona. Again, though, the 27-year-old is unconcerned by such matters.
“I don’t think about my place in football history,” Messi insisted. “I just want to keep getting better and win trophies with my team.”
There was speculation last season that Messi was unhappy at Barcelona, who have not won the Champions League since 2011.
However, the forward insists that he did not think twice about signing a new contract with the club in May.
“Everything went very fast because it was easy,” he stated. “I had no doubts about staying.
“This summer we have signed great players, who have adapted very fast to Barcelona. We have a great group now.”
Messi also dismissed recent claims that he picks and chooses when he wants to represent Argentina, and that he was even considering his future at international level.
“There was some speculation, but I’ve been called up and I will continue to play with Argentina,” the Rosario native declared.