Messi beat Virgil van Dijk and Cristiano Ronaldo to FIFA’s top individual award on Monday and the Argentine spoke of his rivalry with the Portuguese star.
“The sporting rivalry was huge. I played for Barcelona, he played for Real Madrid.
“We both win individual awards. People think that we also take that rivalry to a personal level but it is not so,” Messi mentioned.
“We want the best for our teams and none of us like to lose, that’s is where our rivalry comes from,” he stated.
Although Messi scooped the men’s prize at The Best gala, his sixth Ballon d’Or is still in doubt largely due to Barcelona’s failure to land the Champions League, and the Argentine touched on the disappointment of last year.
“It was a strange season. We were having a fantastic campaign as a team and then the game against Liverpool changed everything.
“It was a tremendous setback despite winning the league. We did not prepare well for the Copa del Rey either and that was another disappointment for us.
“That match [at Anfield] was the stain on a season that was going perfectly until then.”
On the season ahead, Messi remains optimistic for both club and country.
‘My goal is to win all of the titles possible.
“It has been four years since we won the Champions League and we want to win it again.