Lionel Messi has described Cristiano Ronaldo as a great player, but insists he doesn’t motivate him to be a better player.
The endless debate about who the better player is between the duo has been rekindled, after the Madrid star claimed the Ballon d’Or and the Best Fifa Men’s Player award ahead of his Barcelona counterpart.
Even though Messi has not claimed international honours with Argentina he has won the Ballon d’Or on five different occasions and is widely regarded as one of the best players to ever play the game.
Messi says his desire to shine comes from wanting to perform for Barca and Argentina as opposed to outshining Ronaldo.
“There is a mutual respect,” he told Coach. “I view him as a great player who has achieved great things because that is exactly what he is.
“My motivation, though, has always come from wanting to do well for Barcelona and Argentina, and the fans.”
He announced his retirement from the national team after failing at the Copa America a second time, but reversed that decision.
“After the disappointment of losing the final I had time to think and to speak with people, and I felt it was the right option to reverse my decision. I still have big ambitions to win a trophy with Argentina.”
He added: “I hate to lose. It does not just affect me for a few hours after the game, but for longer. I can not stand the feeling to lose. You can use that to make sure you give everything you need to to win.”